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Bulls don't get an All-Star, but wait one more year
by Sam Smith
Posted on Jan 29
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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.
And then there was 10. But I’m saying the streak stops there.
The All-Star game will be played Feb. 15 in Phoenix without a player from the Bulls for the 10th consecutive time as the coaches’ selections were announced Thursday and added to the fans’ picks.
This actually is the 11th year since Michael Jordan was the lone Bulls All-Star in 1998. But the NBA didn’t have an All-Star game in the 1999 strike season. The Bulls were holding out hope that Derrick Rose, after a brilliant start to the season, might be selected for the All-Star team.
Those hopes faded as Rose has been having his poorest month of his young career, averaging 15.4 points in January after 18.9 in November and 16.3 in December. Rose’s shooting percentage also has dropped from 49.6 percent in November to 45.9 percent in December and 43.3 percent in January.
Rose is averaging 16.8 points and 6.3 assists for the season. But his assist averages have gone up each month to 6.6 in January.
Rose will participate in All-Star weekend activities in the Friday rookie game and Saturday skills challenge and by next season I believe he looks like a good bet to break that Bulls non All-Star streak. Hello, Dallas?
Rose is coming off perhaps his best game of the month with 21 points and six assists in the impressive Wednesday win over the Clippers and nine of 13 shooting.
“I think it adds to everyone’s game when you have that jumper falling, especially someone that can break you off the dribble,” coach Vinny Del Negro said after practice Thursday as the Bulls prepared to play the Kings Friday and then embark on the tough part of the trip to Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans and Dallas. “Now defenders have to make a decision. If they come up on you, you can go by them. If not, you can pull up for the jumper. I thought our timing was better on the screens and our big guys were diving better. Derrick was being aggressive and picked his spots well.”
With the Clippers Wednesday and the Kings Friday, that’s about the best spot the Bulls could pick after five straight losses.
The 20-point win over the Clippers was the biggest margin of the season and the Kings are 0-20 against the Eastern Conference this season, 10-37 overall and 4-19 since Kenny Natt replaced Reggie Theus as coach Dec. 15. Guess that one isn’t working. The Kings are looking to be active in trade in the next month with former Bulls Brad Miller and John Salmons most mentioned.
The Kings are hoping the Heat doesn’t deal with Toronto for Jermaine O’Neal because they believe Miami then would make a move for Miller. Salmons has been mentioned in connection with Portland because they have so many young players, which the Kings are seeking in deals.
And here’s your 2009 NBA All-Stars
|1||*Allen Iverson (Detroit)||G||6-0||180||07/07/75||Georgetown|
|3||*Dwyane Wade (Miami)||G||6-4||216||01/17/82||Marquette|
|23||*LeBron James (Cleveland)||F||6-8||250||12/30/84||St. Vincent/St. Mary HS|
|5||*Kevin Garnett (Boston)||F||6-11||220||05/19/76||Farragut Academy (HS)|
|12||*Dwight Howard (Orlando)||C||6-11||265||12/08/85||SW Atlanta Christian Academy (GA)|
|2||Joe Johnson (Atlanta)||G||6-7||235||06/29/81||Arkansas|
|14||#Jameer Nelson (Orlando)||G||6-0||190||02/09/82||Saint Joseph’s|
|33||#Danny Granger (Indiana)||F-G||6-8||228||04/20/83||New Mexico|
|34||Paul Pierce (Boston)||F||6-7||235||10/13/77||Kansas|
|4||Chris Bosh (Toronto)||F||6-10||230||03/24/84||Georgia Tech|
|34||#Devin Harris (New Jersey)||G||6-3||185||02/27/83||Wisconsin|
|9||Rashard Lewis (Orlando)||F||6-10||230||08/08/79||Alief Elsik HS (TX)|
|24||*Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers)||G||6-6||205||08/23/78||Lower Merion HS|
|3||*Chris Paul (New Orleans)||G||6-0||175||05/06/85||Wake Forest|
|21||*Tim Duncan (San Antonio)||F||6-11||260||04/25/76||Wake Forest|
|1||*Amar’e Stoudemire (Phoenix)||F||6-10||245||11/16/82||Cypress Creek (Orlando, FL)|
|11||*Yao Ming (Houston)||C||7-6||310||9/12/80||China|
|41||Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas)||F||7-0||245||06/19/78||Germany|
|32||Shaquille O’Neal (Phoenix)||C||7-1||325||03/06/72||Louisiana State|
|7||Brandon Roy (Portland)||G||6-6||211||07/23/84||Washington|
|7||Chauncey Billups (Denver)||G||6-3||202||09/25/76||Colorado|
|16||Pau Gasol (L.A. Lakers)||F-C||7-0||250||07/06/80||Spain|
|30||David West (New Orleans)||F||6-9||240||08/29/80||Xavier (OH)|
|9||Tony Parker (San Antonio)||G||6-2||180||05/17/82||France|
There are always surprises and omissions, and this season the principal complaining is coming from the Denver Nuggets as the sensitive Carmelo Anthony was overlooked while teammate Chauncey Billups made the team. With the trade of Allen Iverson, the Nuggets persuaded Anthony to play more defense and rebound for the benefit of the team. So his numbers declined slightly, though the Nuggets have done better. And he wasn’t picked for the All-Star team, though Anthony has been out lately with a hand injury.
The surprise in the West was the addition of West, who has been having a sub par season, particularly on defense and rebounding with Chris Paul having to do even more than ever. Al Jefferson probably missed out because of the Timberwolves poor play until recently though he’s eighth in the league in scoring, Steve Nash has slumped this season and Deron Williams was hurt early and was overtaken by Tony Parker.
The surprise in the East was the addition of Orlando’s Jameer Nelson to what figured to be the final spot. Rashard Lewis also made it, likely over teammate Hedo Turkoglu, to give the Magic three All-Stars, though the general feeling was Nelson just benefited playing off Dwight Howard and the forwards.
Somewhat of a surprise was the addition of Devin Harris, apparently at the expense of teammate Vince Carter, who has been having a good season, hit several game winning shots and is the league’s 11th leading scorer. Also, Ray Allen was left off, though the Celtics did have two All-Stars in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the latter added by the coaches.
Shaquille O’Neal, having a comeback season despite the Suns shaky ups and down, was picked for the 15th time after being left off last season for the first time in his career. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has more All-Star selections than O’Neal.
The Pacers’ Danny Granger was added despite the team’s poor record while there had been some lobbying by teammates for Mo Williams and Rajon Rondo because of the excellent records of the Celtics and Cavs as LeBron James is the only Cavs All-Star.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant is the highest scorer not included, sixth in the league at 24.8 per game.