Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez missed out on Eastern Conference All-Star honors, and nobody can seem to figure out why.
When the NBA announced the All-Star reserve rosters on Thursday night, Brook Lopez stood out as the most egregious snub in the Eastern Conference. All-Star reserves Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah are all having good seasons, but it's hard to argue that any of them have a resume clearly better than what Lopez has assembled.
For voters who may have applied the nebulous "winning team" requirement, the Brooklyn Nets have won 12 of their last 14 games, and at 26-16 they own the No. 3 spot in the conference -- right behind the Heat (27-12) and Knicks (26-14), and ahead of the Bulls (25-16). That's a push.
Nets general manager Billy King was taken by surprise that his top big man didn't receive an All-Star nod:
I am speechless....— Billy King (@bkdefend) January 25, 2013
If stats are your thing, Lopez leads the Nets in scoring (18.6 PPG), is second in rebounding (7.4 REB). He's seventh on the NBA blocks leaderboard (2.11 BLK), 11th in field goal percentage (54.8 percent), 17th in scoring average and he has posted nine double-doubles, which is one fewer than Chris Bosh (10) on the year -- though Noah (20) and Chandler (17) rank higher on the double-double list.
Teammate MarShon Brooks is still waiting to hear from anyone who thinks they can name a center playing better basketball than Lopez right now:
Naw a center playing better basketball than Brook Lopez right now??? Don't worry, I'll wait...— Marshon S. Brooks (@Marshon2) January 25, 2013
The most impressive stat for Lopez is that he's ranks fourth in the NBA and third in the Eastern Conference in Player Efficiency Rating (25.4 PER). The metric is a designed to compress all box score accomplishments into a single number for the purpose of ranking production of players on a normalized scale, and Lopez comes out with a number that ranks among the elite players in the NBA. Obviously, the PER metric didn't figure into the voting for coaches around the association.
Zach Lowe of Grantland wonders if Lopez is the biggest All-Star snub of all time under the PER test:
Wonder if Brook Lopez has the highest PER/rank in PER (given minimum minutes) to ever not make the All-Star team.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) January 25, 2013
Lopez has improved his rebounding and his defense this season as well. Over at NetsDaily, the staff is stunned that Lopez didn't make the cut. In the comments section, this GIF of Lopez made the rounds in nearly every All-Star discussion:
Here's how the big man stacks up against the guys who made it:
Brook Lopez | 18.6 PPG, 7.4 REB, 52.1 TS%, 25.4 PER | Nets' record: 26-16
Chris Bosh | 17.3 PPG, 7.2 REB, 1.7 AST, 60.6 TS%, 21.0 PER | Heat record: 27-12
Tyson Chandler | 12.2 PPG, 11.0 REB, 69.7 TS%, 21.4 PER | Knicks' record: 25-14
Joakim Noah | 12.2 PPG, 10.9 REB, 51.4 TS%, 16.9 PER | Bulls' record: 25-16