Picking best of the best not as simple as it sounds

Being selected for the All-Star Game is a nice honor. But ask any player and he will tell you only the MVP award trumps being a first-team All-NBA selection.

Just being on one of the three official All-NBA teams defines the best of the best in the most prestigious basketball league in the world.

Picking this season’s All-NBA first team turns out to be much easier than filling out the second and third teams, especially when it comes to choosing among a bumper crop of outstanding guards.

Injuries played a big factor, too. Derrick Rose is an obvious first-team choice when healthy and playing his usual minutes.

Four of the five first-team positions are no-brainers: LeBron James and Kevin Durant at forwards; Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant at the guard spots.

Other choices, all across the board, are more difficult.

The accompanying graphic (with per-game averages through Friday) shows how my All-NBA ballot will be submitted when the season ends. I’ve got two Spurs, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, among the 15 players on the three teams, with Duncan sliding into his third-team center spot because, well, he’s as much center as power forward, no matter what anyone says.

If nothing else, Duncan is the most efficient of all these choices, the lone player posting All-NBA-worthy numbers while averaging fewer than 30 minutes per game.


(F) LeBron James, Heat
Points: 27.1
Rebounds: 7.9
Assists: 6.3

(F) Kevin Durant, Thunder
Points: 27.8
Rebounds: 8.0
Assists: 3.5

(C) Andrew Bynum, Lakers
Points: 18.9
Rebounds: 10.4
Blocks: 1.9

(G) Chris Paul, Clippers
Points: 19.3
Rebounds: 3.5
Assists: 9.0

(G) Kobe Bryant, Lakers
Points: 27.9
Rebounds: 5.4
Assists: 4.5


(F) Kevin Love, Timberwolves
Points: 26.0
Rebounds: 13.4
Assists: 2.0

(F) Pau Gasol, Lakers
Points: 17.3
Rebounds: 10.4
Assists: 3.6

(C) Dwight Howard, Magic
Points: 20.6
Rebounds: 14.5
Blocks: 2.2

(G) Tony Parker, Spurs
Points: 18.6
Rebounds: 2.8
Assists: 7.7

(G) Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Points: 23.8
Rebounds: 4.5
Assists: 5.4


(F) Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
Points: 21.7
Rebounds: 6.8
Assists: 2.3

(F) Josh Smith, Hawks
Points: 18.8
Rebounds: 9.7
Assists: 3.8

(C) Tim Duncan, Spurs
Points: 15.4
Rebounds: 9.0
Blocks: 1.5

(G) Dwyane Wade, Heat
Points: 22.5
Rebounds: 4.9
Assists: 4.7

(G) Rajon Rondo, Celtics
Points: 12.1
Rebounds: 4.9
Assists: 11.6


Twitter: @Monroe_SA

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