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Allow me to engage in a bout of hometown ressentiment. Remember when the coaches were picking Eastern Conference All-Star Game reserves? Why, yes you do. Back then, as I recall, the reason Gilbert Arenas couldn't be on the squad is that his team wasn't a winner. Conversely, room had to be made for four Pistons players because, apparently, Detroit had assembled not just the best team int he league but a team destined for world-historical greatness. Today, the Wizards have moved into the fifth seed in the East, a perfectly respectable place to be. Detroit, meanwhile, has wracked up a massive half game lead over the Spurs in the overall league standings and a one game lead over Dallas and may well not finish with the best regular-season record.

March 20, 2006 | Permalink


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If the forecasted assumptions were reasonable at the time, and those assumptions would have justified the exclusion had they materialized. Then this sort of post-hoc complaining about a prior decision failing to accord with present reality is meaningless.

but see, weapons of mass destruction maybe?

Posted by: Jedmunds | Mar 20, 2006 3:22:23 PM

Well, look, the assumptions never made sense at all. If you could genuinely assemble a team composed of Tayshaun Prince and four guys all of whom were better than Gilbert Arenas, the team would be totally unbeatable. Detroit's success shows, I think, that if your worst starter is as good as Prince is, it sort of doesn't matter how good your best starter is.

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Mar 20, 2006 5:31:21 PM

Are you really getting worked up over the NBA All Star Team? The most useless and artificial of all of the useless and artificial pro sport all-star teams? The one where voting is done before the season is even half over?

This is the last thing in the world to apply logic to. It's the most irrational, utterly ridiculous, least-defensible system I can imagine. Fretting over who's on and off it and for what reasons is like worrying over which kid got picked last in dodgeball at the local elementary school. People are stupid, it's a foolish system, and it doesn't matter anyway.

Arenas is having a great year, and he's a great player. His inclusion or lack thereof on the completely silly All-Star Team is irrelevant in almost every way. Don't ask a senseless system to suddenly make sense -- you're just going to drive yourself crazy.

Posted by: Jeff Hebert | Mar 20, 2006 5:42:14 PM


I think you're both overrating Tayshaun and vastly underrating Chauncey, but I think we've been over this ground before...

Posted by: Pooh | Mar 20, 2006 6:04:42 PM

i think your point is completely valid. the claim for having all detroit starters as all stars was, in part, to reward a concept we like (team ball), just as nash got the MVP to reward a certain kind of entertaining play, etc. but the main push for all detroit starters was that detroit was just so dang good. when, of course, they really weren't. they're fine, but as their current record shows, they're not head and shoulders above anyone (like someone said earlier, i suspect they peaked early). and the spurs can make close to the same claim of best starting five in league, any of whom could have been allstars (parker, manu, and duncan clearly, bowen pretty near as clear, and then you're left with weakness at center, but the pistons have prince). and gilbert should be rewarded for his sick scoring and carrying a pretty mediocore team pretty far (that's what AI has so often been rewarded for). not that any team would kill to be able to play chauncy, rip, ben, and sheed. but they still seem just a notch below some of the laker teams or MJ/scottie/dennis in terms of dominance at various positions.

Posted by: dj superflat | Mar 20, 2006 6:40:16 PM

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