"I know I missed some games with my broken hand, but I feel like I am
deserving of an All-Star appearance," Boozer said. "If not, I'm not
going to be disappointed. There are a lot of guys who feel they are
deserving. If I am there, I will be extremely happy. I'll tell you
Coaches vote for reserves, and placed Boozer on the 2007 and 2008
Western Conference All-Star teams, though he missed one of those games
"It's a huge honor because the coaches pick you," Boozer said. "I would
love to represent the Bulls with DRose in that game. It'd be a huge
honor. It'd be something I'd look forward to doing if I was able to. If
not, I'll go home and see my kids in Miami."
I don't take this one as any cockiness on Boozer's part. It's pretty clear that someone asked him about whether he felt he should be an all-star and not something he just started screaming from the rooftops.
His stance is pretty reasonable. He thinks he should be in, views it as an honor, but also seems understanding if the injury keeps him out.
As for whether he deserves it, let's look at what we have so far:
That leaves seven spots left:
For the sake of argument, let's say they take three more big men from the East, and four wings/guards.
Is Boozer a top three big man of the remaining choices? I say yes. In fact, a case can be made that he's the next choice.
Kevin Garnett - Possibly the best defensive player of the remaining big men, and a versatile player who's stats are less because of his situation and lower minute total. He's missed a good chunk of games like Boozer, and while his stats aren't as big, his impact on the game is just as big as Boozer's. I think it's a toss up who is ahead of who here, but Garnett might get in ahead of Boozer due to reputation and games played.
Chris Bosh - Bosh has played more games than Boozer, and the Heat have a similar record to the Bulls. However, he's only the third option on Miami and scores fewer points, grabs fewer rebounds, has fewer assists, and lower FG%. On top of which, he isn't counted on to score in isolation as much as Boozer. I also think that people view Bosh as much softer than Boozer which could be held against him in the coaches vote.
Al Horford - Horford's stats are down relative to the other guys under consideration because he doesn't play as many minutes as you'd expect out of a young big man. Still, he's skilled and versatile and having a quality year. His overall numbers are very efficient even if his totals aren't gaudy, and he defends well too. Still, I can't see him getting in ahead of Boozer.
Andrea Bargnani - His scoring numbers are the highest of the
remaining guy, but his rebounding, defense, and team suck. He's also
shooting only 44% from the field and 32.5% from the three point line, so
he's scoring a lot, but he's a chucker, he shouldn't be ahead of
Brook Lopez - His team sucks, he scores less, rebounds much less, and has fewer assists., and lower efficiency. Maybe he's a better defender, and he does play center, so maybe he makes it on as a center, but it's hard to argue he's better than Boozer given he's worse in virtually every statistical category and on a bottom feeder team.
Andrew Bogut: His scoring is way down, his rebounds are better though, and he's a better defender and center. He's also missed a decent chunk of games, and the Bucks are one of the more disappointing teams in the league. I don't see how Bogut stands a chance.
The only way Boozer doesn't get in is if the coaches decide they need to have a back up center and go with Brook Lopez then vote in Garnett and Bosh ahead of him. He'll be hurt in the vote primarily for missing so many games this season, but I think in actual quality of play that he's better than everyone left except for Garnett (which is even debatable).
As such, I think it's iffy whether he gets in or not. The games played thing is a very powerful argument, but fortunately for Boozer he missed the front half of the season, so he's still in people's minds for the second half.