Steve Nash snubbed from 2011 All-Star team


Despite another fantastical statistical season, Steve Nash was an All-Star snub. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Despite another fantastical statistical season, Steve Nash was an All-Star snub. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Perhaps because the Suns have played sub-.500 basketball for the majority of the season, seven-time All-Star Steve Nash did not receive an invitation to the 2011 All-Star Game despite another fantastic statistical season.

Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook got the call at the point guard spot behind starting point guard Chris Paul in a loaded Western Conference at the one spot.

Nash, who will turn 37 on Monday, is averaging 16.8 points and 11.1 assists per game, numbers that compare favorably to his 2004-05 MVP season. He’s also shooting 52.6 percent from the floor, the second best mark of his career, to go with 40.8 percent three-point shooting and 91.6 percent shooting from the line.

Nash ranks 11th in PER (23.64), behind Westbrook but ahead of Williams, 11th in adjusted +/- with a positive rating of 11.61 (behind Williams but ahead of Westbrook) and second in unadjusted +/- in the entire league (16.84) behind only Dallas All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.

Nash leads all point guards in true shooting (63.7 percent), ranks fourth in assist ratio (ahead of both Westbrook and Williams) and ranks fifth in both Value Added (280.7) and Wins Added (9.4) at the position, behind CP3, Westbrook, Derrick Rose and Williams. Nash also ranks second in Wins Produced among point guards (and 10th overall) behind only Paul, as he’s produced 10.1 wins for Phoenix.

All these numbers certainly make Nash a deserving candidate for the All-Star Game, yet Williams and Westbrook are every bit as deserving as well.

This might end up being a moot point, as Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Nash is “a strong favorite” to replace the injured Yao Ming on the roster. Although such a move would leave the West point guard heavy, it’s only right for the universe to get to witness one game of Nash working the pick-and-roll with Blake Griffin, and his stats make him every bit an All-Star.

The biggest reason Westbrook and Williams got the call over Two Time has got to be each of their respective teams’ place in the standings. The Thunder and Jazz are bonafide playoff teams while the Suns sit 10th behind the Memphis Grizzlies, having been under .500 throughout the voting period.

“Steve I think should always be an All-Star,” head coach Alvin Gentry said before Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee. “We’ll see how that works out. I think sometimes when you have the start we’ve had to the season and haven’t won as many games as you anticipated sometimes I think that might hurt him a little bit. I think it’s going to be really tough.”

Gentry seemed to understand that this would ultimately be Nash’s fate, and perhaps this is for the better. Williams and Westbrook are in their 20s, while the soon-to-be 37-year-old Nash could certainly use a couple days off to recharge for the Suns’ stretch run.

Not every All-Star break needs to be as wild as what Nash experienced last February when he lit the Olympic flame, won the Skills Challenge and then started the All-Star Game.

TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott described the snub like this:

The two-time MVP is doing just about everything as well as he ever did. Now the supporting cast, and the W-L record, are both far less impressive. Should that matter? Yes, of course, in some ways. The challenge to every NBA player is to win. On the other hand, if not an All-Star berth, what way is there to honor the otherworldly play of an aging hero doomed by his owner’s questionable leadership? Hollinger: “What we’re basically saying is that Nash was responsible for having Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion on his team, and now it’s his fault that they’re gone.”

After being the only squad to boast a pair of All-Star starters last year (Nash and Amare), this year the Suns will have no stars in the game for the first time since 2004 unless Nash is an injury replacement. Such is life for a sub.-500 team, territory this franchise has not seen since Nash rejoined the franchise and started winning MVPs.

Although Nash’s numbers paint the picture of a player who is every bit the All-Star he’s been the rest of this decade, in such a competitive conference for All-Star spots the Suns’ losing record likely prevented his inclusion.

So while it’s fair to complain about Nash not making the All-Star team, it’s tough to feel too bad about it when every player who made it was very deserving as well.

And 1

Zabian Dowdell, however, was selected for the All-Star Game. The D-League All-Star Game, that is. He can only participate if he’s on a D-League team, which means I don’t think he would mind one bit missing out on that experience if the Suns sign him for the rest of the season.

Dowdell averaged 14.5 points and 4.6 assists per contest in 18 games for Tulsa.

Tags: Steve Nash

  • Cam

    I think Nash deserves a spot but I hope the commish doesn’t give it to him. Nash needs some rest after all the minutes he’s been playing. Gentry needs to get Dowdell and Dragic (when he comes back) into the rotation more. Go Suns.

  • MKM

    This season will be Nash’s BEST if he somehow manages to lead the Suns to the playoff and beyond, while being the LONE star on his team the very first time in his career.

  • Cam

    If Nash leads this team into the playoffs I think he deserves to be MVPx3.

  • Maynard

    great Nash’s season , and i think he lead Suns to the playoff. he is a maestro, Beethoveen of assists

  • HankS

    Nash has MVP-like numbers on a team much inferior to his MVP teams, so he’s as all-starry as ever, no doubt about that.

    OTOH, puting in a couple of good practice sessions can’t hurt, the team after the Trade is still only coming together and a little in-season training camp might come handy.

  • JonB

    Nash definitely got snubbed. Hilarious post on Chasing23.com:

    http://chasing23.com/2011/02/my-vote-for-biggest-2011-all-star-snub-steve-nash/

  • Auggie5000

    Can we talk about taking the all-star voting away from the international audience? It is the National Basketball Association after all.
    I’ve been tired for the past 8 years of Yao Ming starting for the west all-stars. China will not stop voting for him. It’s insulting as a fan. Kevin Love deserves that spot.

  • AJ

    I agree with Auggie. I mean usually I’m all for globalization and what not but Yao’s selection is a farce. The man hasn’t played basketball in…idk years.

    Totally onboard with Cam. If the suns continue to improve then I can think of no one who is as important to their team as Steve Nash it to the suns. I mean Gortat put it perfectly, he is responsible for at least 50% of our success.

    The only other player who I think comes close is Kevin Durant, I mean he is just a machine for OKC.

  • shawn

    Nash is an all star point blank but they did him a favor because he could use the rest. Suns have alot of games to play next month.

  • shawn

    If he was left out simply on the basis of team record then please explain Blake Griffin cuz I’m personally not impressed because he thinks he’s in a dunk contest every other night.

  • Nba critic

    The problem with fan voting is not international. Its a flaw in the voting system. Likely because the commish enjoys having some control in the selection of replacement… But we the people are supposed to select the starters. He can still select reseve replacements. The league should should set a rule that a player must participate in a certain percentage of games before the voting period ends. If that player doesn’t then they get disqualified and then next highest vote getter takes their spot. This would highly cut down the scenario with an injured player being voted as starter making the whole voting process and nba for allowing it look incompetent.

  • AJ

    @NBA critic that would work.

    @Shawn I agree that if you go by record, griffin shouldn’t be there, but have seen him play? Lol. I mean he has made the clippers my 2nd favorite team to watch.

  • shawn

    I have seen him play and like I stated I’m not impressed

  • zane

    how could you not be impressed by griffin? He is the most exciting player the league now. and im a huge suns fan

  • Zak

    I agree with some of the statements already made. While I think Steve is certainly deserving of being in the All Star game, the rest will only do him good. And somehow I doubt that Steve cares that much about playing in the AS game this year. He’s already acknowledged as one of the greatest PGs to ever play the game and I’m sure he’s much more concerned about turning the Suns’ season around than adding any more individual accomplishments to his legacy.

  • joms

    They did steve a favor.He needs the rest badly for his run to the playoffs and beyond.Still hoping that supporting cast will also show grit in every game and am pretty sure everything will fall into place.

  • Kenton

    The All-Star game sucks anyway.

  • Steve

    @shawn – Your basketball IQ would be questioned by anyone with any knowledge of the game if you truly believe Griffin isn’t something special.

    He is not just a dunker. He is not just a hustler. And either way, those are two things that are EXTREMELY valuable in this league. He is one of the most polished offensive post presences in the league. He has an extremely soft touch from 15 feet and in, he can hit the 20-footer, he has incredible body control, he’s smart and wants to improve constantly…

    I can’t think of one BAD thing about Blake Griffin. The craziest thing about all of it is that he’s a ROOKIE! This isn’t going out on a limb or anything, so I can’t pretend like I’m making some wild prediction that no one would have thought of, but Blake Griffin (barring injuries) is going to be a top-5 NBA player for many years in this league.

    He doesn’t deserve the all-star game this year, though. I agree with that. Love deserves his spot. But there is no denying that Blake Griffin is one of the most special players alive, and any team would be lucky to have him. He’s incredible.

  • http://jazadams.com Jaz Adams

    Not having any loyalty to “one” specific Basketball team, I have to say that Nash not making the All Star team is #@^*(%@$ stupid. Also, being on the all star team should have absolutely nothing to do with a teams win/loss record. UMMMM….HELLLOOOO….WINS AND LOSSES ARE ABOUT A TEAM EFFORT!!!! Were not voting in “Teams” to the All Star game, we are voting in INDIVIDUAL play. If someone hits 30 home runs before the all star break but their team hasn’t won A GAME, they’ll still make it. And as far as Nash is concerned, his numbers are basically the same as his MVP seasons, so the fact that he doesn’t even make the All-Star team this year is, well, just plain stupid.

  • akoc13

    steve nash is more deserving than williams and curry steve is the 2 time MVP and we are voting in individual plays steve nash is great he can pick and roll with griffin or durant for a score soo I dont see any reason why steve nash is not on the all star game on LA it just stupid why steve nash is not on the all star game and its hard to watch a game without steve nash