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This section is ridiculous. And honestly, the idea that LeBron James is still the best player in the league (which is what’s suggested by his league-leading vote total) is just the tip of the iceberg. He’s no longer that, but James starting for legacy reasons is fine, and there are only so many nits you can pick.
Andrew Wiggins (No. 5 among West frontcourt players)
History is repeating itself with Andrew Wiggins, who’s actually been better than he was in 2021-22 (his scoring average, rebounds per game and effective field-goal percentage are all up), but he’s only appeared in 22 games. The Golden State Warriors have played 39.
Anthony Davis (No. 3 among West frontcourt players)
This one isn’t as bad, because Anthony Davis’ numbers (27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 steals) when available are absurd, but he’s only played in three more games than Wiggins.
Of course, the understandable response to that might be that Stephen Curry has only played one more game than AD, and he’s not on this slide. The differentiator is Golden State’s record with Curry in the lineup (14-12) compared to L.A.’s with Davis (11-14) makes Curry’s projected All-Star starting spot more justified.
Kevon Looney (No. 10 among West frontcourt players)
Kevon Looney is awesome. Much of what the Warriors do wouldn’t be possible without his willingness to focus on rebounding, make the extra pass and convert scoring opportunities when he gets them.
But this is the All-Star Game, and Looney is averaging 6.7 points and 8.4 rebounds for a team that’s hovered around .500 all season.
Russell Westbrook (No. 6 among West guards)
Russell Westbrook’s raw numbers are fine. He’s putting up 14.5 points and 7.7 assists, and he’s nobly accepted a bench role after spending most of his career as one of the game’s most ball-dominant players.
However, in terms of the number of points he’s scored compared to what a perfectly average shooter would on the same shots, Westbrook is the second-least efficient scorer in the league.
Austin Reaves (No. 9 among West guards)
My goodness, people. If the Rose placement wasn’t enough to convince you that the voters aren’t taking this seriously, I present to you Austin Reaves.
Rose at least has some legacy points as a multi-time All-Star and former MVP. You can maybe see why diehard fans he made in the early portion of his career might be clinging to his relevance.
But Austin Reaves is a second-year player averaging 10.8 points with a barely above-average three-point percentage for a sub-.500 team.
Jordan Poole (No. 10 among West guards)
Jordan Poole is averaging 20.6 points, but he’s well below average in the same shooting metric explained for Westbrook. And the Warriors’ point differential per 100 possessions is 10.3 points worse when Poole is on the floor.