The Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2017 class was announced Wednesday, just one day before the NBA All-Star Game starters will be revealed.
The back-to-back timing, while coincidental, is appropriate, as sports fans love nothing more than arguing about who should and shouldn’t be in a Hall of Fame and who should and shouldn’t be an All-Star.
(These two go neck and neck with debating power rankings and mock drafts, as well as embarking on the annual tradition of screaming loudly on television and social media about which mid-major got screwed out of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for a power-conference school.)
Below you’ll find the starting lineup announcement information, the latest voting results and some thoughts on who should start.
Starting Lineup Announcement
When: Thursday, Jan. 19
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: TNT Overtime
NBA All-Star Fan Voting (as of Jan. 12)
|| Zaza Pachulia
|| Klay Thompson
For these opinions, I’m going to create a new stat out of thin air off the backs of other people who did legitimate hard (and incredible) work to come up with formulas to better analyze the game.
The stat: BPR. It’s a combination of Box Plus/Minus from Basketball-Reference.com, player efficiency rating (PER) from ESPN’s John Hollinger and Real Plus-Minus.
You can read more about how those statistics are created by following the links, but BPR is simply those three stats added together to make one number.
Obviously, the heavy emphasis is on PER, as that is the biggest number.
Using BPR, we’ll then come up with the five starters for each conference, with the caveat that we need to fill positions.
For example, none of the five Eastern Conference players with the best BPR can fill the center position, so we need to take the top four and then the best center.
Here are the results.
PG: Russell Westbrook—50.18 BPR (13.9 BPM, 29.73 PER, 6.55 RPM)
SG: James Harden—43.12 BPR (10.0 BPM, 27.83 PER, 5.29 RPM)
SF: Kawhi Leonard—42.48 BPR (7.9 BPM, 28.36 PER, 6.22 RPM)
PF: Kevin Durant—40.71 BPR (7.9 BPM, 27.44 PER, 5.37 RPM)
C: DeMarcus Cousins—39.23 BPR (6.6 BPM, 27.13 PER, 5.50 RPM)
Realistically, there are six players for five starting spots. New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis was the odd man out here, as his BPR of 37.17 fell just short. Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic also came close (36.83 BPR), although, in fairness, he only just started playing more significant minutes in December and has a smaller sample size.
Using the eye test, Westbrook (averaging a triple-double) and Harden (third in points, first in assists and leading a 33-12 Houston Rockets team that is crushing preseason expectations) are the most deserving.
Durant is the best player on the best team in the NBA, and Leonard is the best player on the second-best team on the NBA. It’s hard to leave them both out.
That leaves a battle between Cousins and Davis. The BPR says Cousins here, but either him or Davis would be a fine option.
PG: Kyle Lowry—38.82 BPR (7.4 BPM, 24.08 PER, 7.34 RPM)
SG: Giannis Antetokounmpo—43.6 BPR (9.4 BPM, 28.22 PER, 5.98 RPM)
SF: Jimmy Butler—39.57 BPR (6.7 BPM, 25.95 PER, 6.92 RPM)
PF: LeBron James—40.82 BPR (8.1 BPM, 25.91 PER, 6.81 RPM)
C: Joel Embiid—29.23 BPR (3.1 BPM, 23.94 PER, 2.19 RPM)
Kyle Lowry’s low All-Star vote total is surprising. I’d argue there’s no real debate that he should be starting at point guard for the East next month.
He’s one of, if not the best guard (point or shooting) in the Eastern Conference.
Michael Gallagher of Rotoworld explains why:
Antetokounmpo and James, arguably the two best players in the conference, can much slot almost anywhere they want outside of center, so we’re throwing them at shooting guard and power forward, respectively.
Butler is the easy call at small forward with no true contender to take away his throne this year.
That leaves the center position open. If Joel “The Process” Embiid didn’t have a minutes restriction this season, there would be no debate, as his per-36 numbers, according to Basketball-Reference.com, are off the charts (28.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks).
Still, it’s not every day that you see a 7’0″, 250-pound center shooting better than 34 percent from beyond the arc. He’s an incredibly talented player who deserves to be in New Orleans.
Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com
Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley