I didn’t think Ben Simmons would be chosen for the NBA All-Star game when the original list came out.
But I thought he might have a chance to replace John Wall, who’s out of the ASG with a knee injury.
Andre Drummond got the nod instead, resulting in this response from Simmons:
— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) January 31, 2018
Surely, then, Simmons would be next in line, right? He’d definitely replace Kevin Love, right?
Goran Dragic received the call instead. Ben’s consolation prize is the Rising Stars Challenge.
Nothing against Dragic, who’s quietly putting together a fantastic season running point for the 29-22 Miami Heat. He’s averaging 17 points per game, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists with a 2.0 assist to turnover ratio.
But if you look strictly at the numbers, Simmons does better in most areas, save for PPG (16.7, big difference), three-point percentage (he doesn’t shoot threes), free-throw percentage (ugly), and turnovers (also ugly).
Otherwise, Ben looks better across the board:
Ben Simmons, Goran Dragic, Kemba Walker, and Khris Middleton were all being considered as an All Star replacement
Simmons led them all in RPG, APG, SPG, BPG, and FG%
Simmons was not picked
— Hoops Reference (@HoopsReference) February 1, 2018
It might be as simple as Dragic being a veteran player on a better team with a seasoned coach, which is usually the case in these situations. Simmons is a rookie on a .500 club that already has an ASG representative.
(Although, now that I think about it, New Orleans is 7-seed and they had two All-Stars, so I dunno..)
You could also say that Dragic doesn’t have Joel Embiid on his side. He’s running with Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson and Dion Waiters, a group now sitting at 4th in the east. There’s something to be said for that, certainly.
And Kemba Walker got screwed, too. He’s averaging 22 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6 assists on a team currently eight games below .500.
For what it’s worth, the national guys seemed to be leaning towards Simmons over Dragic, so it’s not just a homer mindset here:
How is Dragic an All-Star over Simmons?
PTS: Dragic (barely)
Statistically, it’s not close. pic.twitter.com/5QZB752aE4
— Thomas Duffy (@TJDhoops) February 1, 2018
Goran Dragic has the lowest PER, True Shooting %, and BPM out of the 4 guys that could’ve replaced Kevin Love.
Like I said yesterday, Spoelstra is the only All-Star in Miami this season pic.twitter.com/LT2u0JdWh9
— Shane Young (@YoungNBA) February 1, 2018
Either way, Sixer fans should be okay with the snub. Angry Ben put up 19, 17, and 14 the last time he felt disrespected.
And Miami comes to town tomorrow night, so the timing couldn’t be better.