How many Bulls make the all-star team?

Derrick Rose became the first Chicago Bull to make an all-star squad since Michael Jordan, and I expect he'll make it again this season.  However, this year, he may have some teammates with him.

Here's a look how I handicap the all-star game prior to the season starting.
First let's look at last year's all-stars playing in the East this season:

Big men:
Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Al Horford, Amare Stoudemire
SFs:
LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Gerald Wallace
Guards:
Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose

How does it look this year?  

Let's break down the big men, first.   Figure that the team probably carries five big men again as the SFs/Guards are more interchangeable. 

(locks if healthy)
1: Dwight Howard
2: Chris Bosh
3: Kevin Garnett

4: Amare Stoudemire - he's an all star type player with his scoring ability, however, without Steve Nash creating room for him I wouldn't be surprised to see him struggle a bit this season.  I'm not sure he's a guy the coaches really vote in either given his lack of work in areas coaches typically appreciate.   However, he's probably the next most talented guy on the board.

5: Al Horford - I think the largest problem he might have is that I expect the Hawks to take a big step back this season, however, he's a two way player and like Stoudemire, technically counts as a C even though he's really more of a PF.

6: Carlos Boozer - He's got the talent, but missing the first month of
the season, he'll need to play fairly spectacularly in both December and
January to make it in.  He has a chance, but he's starting with a
disadvantage due to his injury.  A fully healthy Boozer probably would be above Horford in the list.

7: Joakim Noah - In this offensive system, he's passing the ball extremely well and showing off a lot more skill.   Noah's preseason stats are remarkable, and while that's completely meaningless in terms of what he'll do in the regular season, he's had these skills all along.  He's just in an offense that utilizes them now.  It will be interesting to see if Noah/Boozer split the vote on each other hurting both their odds though.

8: Andrew Bogut - If he could stay healthy then he'd probably get the nod over Noah and possibly Boozer as well.  Especially if the Bucks have a quality record.  However, he's already announced that he likely won't be 100% all season long, so it's hard to give him too much benefit of the doubt for his first half season performance.

9: Brook Lopez - Lopez puts up better numbers than Noah offensively and the all-star ballet typically rewards offensive minded players.   That said, if the Nets are in the absolute tank again I would guess that he gets passed over unless he does something unbelievable offensively which doesn't seem likely.

If the Bulls have a much stronger than expected start, it wouldn't be hard to envision both Noah and Boozer making the game.   I think only Howard and Bosh are really locks for the game.  Garnett could easily miss the game due to health issues while Horford isn't a pure all-star talent, and Amare's team could easily suck balls as could he without Steve Nash but with a new guaranteed contract and less motivation.

Next come the SFs.  I'd say anywhere from 1 to 3 SFs can make the team. 
1: LeBron - The only SF lock out there is LeBron.

2: Danny Granger - Granger struggled with injuries last season, but when healthy he's the second best SF in the conference.

3: Paul Pierce - While his game is slowing down, reputation and a good team record probably keep him in the game for one more season.  

4: Gerald Wallace - He's a decent player, but he's on a bad team and is always hurt.  I think the odds of him making it are fairly low.

5: Luol Deng - Yes, he might actually be the next best SF in the east.   He'll have to fight with Andre Iguodala for that honor, but he'll be on a better team and the new system should make Deng look much better than he looked last season.

6: Andre Iguodala - He's a high quality player who does a bit of everything, but he'll need to learn to play with Evan Turner and his stats could easily take a dip this season.  The 76ers also look like a truly awful team, so I don't expect much team success there.

Finally, the guards.  I'd predict 4-6 depending how many SFs make the roster.  Most likely 4-5 guards make it.

(locks if healthy)
1: Dwyane Wade
2: Derrick Rose

3: Joe Johnson - He may put up better stats than Rose, but I think Rose kills him in the popular vote and is voted a starter this season. He's starting to do more commercials, and Rose is marketed more by the NBA and seen as a young star.   Johnson's still likely a near lock to make the team though.

4: Rajon Rondo - Rondo might actually be the best player on the Celtics now, and while the quality of his teammates is frequently held against him, at this point, you could argue he carries them more than the other way around.

5: John Wall - It's rare for a rookie to make the team, but the East really lacks a lot of guard depth, so Wall has some chance to squeeze someone out if he plays as impressively as people think he might.  Of course, he might struggle to outplay his own teammate, Gilbert Arenas, but I can't imagine Gilbert making it in on the fan or coaches vote after his escapades the past two seasons.

6: Mo Williams - Without LeBron in Cleveland expect Mo Williams to put up some fairly gaudy statistics as the primary scorer.  He's shown the ability to carry his team in the past before and now will have a green light as there is no one else there to score.

I'll stick with my predictions in order assuming no major injuries.   That makes it:
Big men: Dwight, Bosh, Garnett, Amare, Horford
Wings: LeBron, Granger, Pierce
Guards: Wade, Rose, Johnson, Rondo

Of the group, ignoring the injury flag, I think Horford is the most likely to get outplayed and have someone else take his spot based on talent.  Boozer and Noah both could do it, and I would put Boozer ahead of Horford if I didn't think the games played would be held against him.

Comments

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  • Bosh is no lock. Miami needs to be on 60+ wins pace for him to go since he is the third heat player unless wade or lbj gets hurt. And the bulls have to be on 60 wins pace to get two. Noah is the one with the best shot I think.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Doug's right and you're wrong. Bosh is a lock. Besides, Miami will be on a 60+ wins pace, barring significant injury.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    My feeling is Rose is the only one who makes it. Because of the injury I think Boozer is out. Noah could, but at the end of the day I just don't think he will.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    I think we have 2 fringe All-Stars who will be out, Boozer & Deng. PF is deep in the East & Boozer is already behind. Deng will have a great year I believe, but for various reasons I don't see him being on the team.

    Rose is a lock unless injured.

    Noah...I think he makes it. People were talking about him making it before the big weekend last year, but the Bulls record wasn't good enough to bring 2. I think a lot of people saw his value with that huge playoff series he had against the Cavs, along with the Bulls 10 game losing streak while he was out down the stretch. This year he'll have better #'s because of the new system, particularly assists. His scoring will increase. He will continue to be one of the elite rebounders. If the Bulls are hanging around the top 3 spots in the East like they should, I think they will get 2 all-stars. I see his stats as somewhere around 13 ppg, 12 rpg, 4-5 asts per, & 2 blks + stls. That is All-Star level

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Deng won't be an all star and it won't be close. Besides that I agree with your points.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    The one other point of difference is I doubt Noah's points go up. Almost all of his scoring comes off of put backs and Boozer will be taking up a sizable portion of those.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    Deng will be close, the new system plays to his style & look what he has did numbers-wise last year. Plus he'll be taking more 3 pters.

    About Noah, he averaged close to 11 last year, & he started to have more confidence in both his mid range & low post game. He can create a little scoring, & that is where I see the jump this year.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    In april last year after he got healthy, he averaged close to 14 ppg

  • In reply to WearShades:

    I wouldn't count Garnett as a lock, I think he's odds on to make it but given his injury history in recent seasons you can't really just pencil him in.

    I think we can rule out Boozer due to health and Lopez due to playing on a crap team, so it'll come down to just Noah, Bogut & Horford for the last spot. However if Bogut isn't 100% you can rule him out too, so really it's just Noah vs Horford, in which case I think it'll just come down to which team has a better record (although I think Noah deserves it ahead of Horford, but whatever).

    Deng is no chance at all. Judging by pre-season he's not going to play a big enough role to put up the points totals he'd need.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Id go as far to say garnett has little to no chance at all...recall last year the celtics halfassed it throughout the season, they won't be able to go hard in order to preserve their aging core to make another run in the post season. Don't be suprised if the celtics end up with seed in the 5 to 7 range. They can afford to end up in that range due to their veteran big 3.

    Personally I think it could be noahs assists pg that get him in. If he puts up numbers like 12 10 and 5,which I think he can with this new system, I could see the coaches vote getting him in.

    Deng has too much of a negative tag on him due to the descrepancy between his production and contract. It will take longer than half a season to rid himself of the bad name he's obtained because of guys referring to him as untradeable.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    What are our options if Taj and Boozer have to miss lots of time? Booz is already missing 15 and its probably safe to assume a handful throughout the season. If Taj has to miss a dozen or more games things would get really tough. Dampier? D-League fill in?

    Hopefully Taj is ok.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Couple of quick thoughts about how we are looking in general:

    1-Looks like 3 pt shooting can now be a strength of the team. I know you would counter by stating that this is only preseason, but it sure looks good Dougie.

    2-Seems as if Rose is ready to carry this team in every way & make that 3rd year jump, truly becoming a star.

    3-Taj's apparent mild case of plantar fascitis looks worrisome. We know Noah switched from those old French kicks he used to wear, what about Taj? Has he changed up his shoes? 2-5 days rest won't cure this for him, it will get worse as the season goes on, and Boozer is already out for the first 15 games or so...not good. And maybe this is partly the reason Gibson has started off the preseason so terribly?

    Positives 1 & 2 look like they could be offset by #3

  • There is a little more parity in the East this year compared to the previous years. Off-course, there is Miami but there is better parity with the other teams. That said, most times NBA all-star is based on reputation rather than play only. So, Boozer has a better chance than Noah. Noah is still looked at as a hustle player and unless he is out-of-this world in the 1st half...he is not going to make it.

  • When Bulls play Miami I would like to see some minutes with JOMER and Noah guarding Bosh. That would be interesting. Miami's weak at center so Asik should be able to hold his own, and Noah matched up pretty well with Dirk last night. It's a different look for part of the game.

    How have Boozer and Bosh fared in the past when Utah and Toronto played?

  • I think Noah is a long shot, but is possible as the coaches will likely add a 2nd center. So several things must align for Noah to make the team:
    - Bogut is hampered by last season's injury
    - Horford and Atlanta are a bit off statistically
    - New Jersey's team record is well below .500
    - Noah has good stats and Bulls are playing well and lead the Central division.

    Bogut's lengthy recovery from his gruesome injury could open the window for Noah this year. So perhaps a lot depends on Bulls record being better than both Milwaukee and Atlanta when the coaches vote. If Bulls are at the 4th seed Noah's got a decent chance. Among coaches I think Noah is liked as a player and Noah plays a bigger role in the offense with Thibs.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I think you are over-thinking this. He is close right now, & this year he should be better than last, & so should the Bulls

  • Rose for sure....Boozer no because the injury, Deng no because he isnt good enough, Noah maybe but i dont see it happening unless he has a unreal start of the season.

  • I watched the Heat and the Hornets game and I was hoping to see Bosh dominate early on. The game was so boring and the competition wasn't impressive that I only watched the 1st half. I wasn't impressed with Bosh as the #1 scoring option. Bosh lacks the killer instinct and the leadership needed for him to be a franchise player. I'm not so sure if the Heat deserves to be guaranteed 3 all star starters (LeBron, Wade, Bosh). It's hard to speculate now because the season hasn't started yet.

    Depending on health reasons and team standings, players may decide to rest and bypass the festivities. Remember last year when Derrick got injured playing against Dwight that Derrick had to play injured during the All Star Game? If Derrick wasn't injured, he could've defended his title on the Skills Challenge and he could've been more explosive during the All Star Game.

    Instead of worrying about All Star status, I want Derrick to work on his lob passes and his aggressiveness towards the basket. Derrick still has a tendency to shy away from contact and be a finesse player. I'm not sure if it has to do with height or conserving energy, but I want to see D Rose try to dunk more on people like how D Wade dunked on Anderson Varejao.

    This is the year where I hope Thibs helps Derrick work on getting to the FT line when they need baskets at the end of the game. I want to see Derrick expand on his basketball IQ.

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