West's Height May Work Against Them in ASG

Hooray! Gunfire! Free beer! Exaltation! Mo Williams is an All-Star, after Chris Bosh decides to spend the weekend at home shaking his head in disgust and despair. So the East-leading Cavs get two guys on the team, and the Celtics now have three, still one shy of what they think they deserve. Try winning some key games at home, guys! ↵
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↵Now, I don't think anyone's too fond of the positional labels (and quotas) that can sometimes screw up the balloting and selection process. Especially in today's game, when center-less small ball is often employed, and many players can inhabit multiple traditional positions. But with the East now having replaced a big man with a point guard, I wonder if we aren't headed for a rematch of that All-Star Game when, if memory serves, the West had four seven-footers on the floor. Granted, the East's big men this time around are Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard, which would be more than enough if ASG rotations were remotely normal. Still, you have to wonder if there's not going to be some point where the height deficiency of the East really makes a difference. ↵
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↵Think about: The East's tallest players, Howard and Garnett, refuse to be listed seven-footers, even if, for all intents and purposes, they are. Rahsard Lewis is the shortest 6'10" you'll ever see. After that, their next biggest guys are the 6'8" Danny Granger, who loves the perimeter, and LeBron, who might play a lot of PG for highlights' sake. ↵

↵On the other side, you've got Shaq and Yao repping for the true centers; Pau Gasol, like Garnett but actually taller (and less ferocious); exceptionally tall PF's Tim Duncan and Amare (provided he's not traded by the All-Star team); and legit post presence David West. ↵

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↵Okay, so things like the value of size can be overrated in this setting, and as already stated, Howard and Garnett should be enough. But the contrast will be glaring. I almost wonder if, as has happened with the East in the past, being smaller and quicker will allow them to play a better All-Star Game -- that is, get up and down faster and put on more of a show -- while leaving the lumbering West in the dust. ↵
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↵Let's put it this way: You don't hold this event to showcase slow-and-steady post moves. The question is whether the sleeker team can even find to show that, for once, the tables have turned, and size truly does no longer matter. As in this glorified exhibition game where the rules are different and no one cares about defense or the methodical half-court. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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