Let’s state the obvious right here and right now: Ricky Rubio hasn’t done much, from a performance standpoint, to justify starting in an All-Star Game. Agreed? Good.
But honestly now: Wouldn’t you like to see him in the game? Of course. Well, he has a shot. Rubio is currently No. 3 in the voting among West guards, which means he’s clearly the people’s choice. As he should be, from the standpoint that the game is an exhibition designed to entertain. And we’d all love to see Rubio throwing no-looks to Kobe. That would be a ratings bonanza. The court vision, the clever passes, it’ll be on display All-Star weekend from Rubio, and maybe it won’t be on Saturday when the rookies share the floor with the sophomores.
As for the actual All-Star voting itself, there are no serious oversights so far in the results released today. All of the expected names are in the running for a starting spot or will be considered for a reserve slot when the coaches get around to filling out the rosters. Dwight Howard and LeBron James are the leading vote-getters so far in the East, Kobe Bryant (who leads all voters) and Kevin Durant in the West. Well, actually, there is one interesting situation developing involving Tim Duncan. He’s a 13-time All-Star and has made the game every year since 2000. But he’s seventh in the voting among West forwards. Is this the year the streak ends?
Duncan’s minutes are being rationed by the Spurs, more now than ever before. Duncan is getting only 26 minutes a game and averaging just 12 points and 6.5 rebounds, well off his peak years, understandably, given his age and the Spurs’ desire to keep him fresh for the postseason. A 66-game schedule only gives the Spurs additional reason to make sure Duncan is preserved. Of course, this may cost him an All-Star spot; LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love are having stronger seasons and represent the up-and-comers.
Something tells me that Duncan doesn’t care too much about that. Even when he does make the game, he asks that his time be kept to a minimum. He knows what’s important at this stage of his career. And this could be his best chance at one more championship.
Anyway, to me, Duncan is the anti-Rubio. Duncan’s next thrilling All-Star highlight will be his first. So the question for fans (and maybe for coaches who fill the roster out) is this: Seriously, who would you like to see in the game, Duncan or Rubio?