Boston Celtics: Should Kevin Garnett be starting the All-Star Game?


The starters for the All-Star Game have been announced.  For the Eastern Conference, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo got the nod.  But has Kevin Garnett has a season worthy of starting the All-Star Game?

As often happens in fan voting, this became a vote of fame and not of worthiness.   There is no arguing with James or Anthony being selected.  They are each having great seasons and are worthy of being starters.

Wade and Rondo are both All-Star worthy, but only one of them should be starting.  There is another player that should be starting over both of them, while they battle for the other starting position.  That will be left for another discussion, though, as we will focus on the biggest mistake.

The fans got the East All-Star voting wrong. Garnett’s selection is the biggest mistake.  There are several players that are putting up much better numbers than he is.

Before we get into the details, it is important to note that the voting rules changed this season.  Instead of voting for each of the positions, positions were not broken down.  The center position was eliminated, meaning that voters picked two guards and three frontcourt players.

In the case of Garnett, he is averaging 14.7 points and 7 rebounds this season.  There are seven players who have better overall numbers than Garnett.



Paul Pierce



Brook Lopez



Greg Monroe



Al Horford



Kevin Garnett



Anderson Varejao



Joakim Noah



Tyson Chandler



Only two players on the list have scored less than Garnett.  Noah and Chandler make up for those 2.3 points though by both out-rebounding Garnett by 3.6 and 4.0, respectively.

The only player that Garnett out-rebounds on this list is his teammate Paul Pierce.  Pierce makes up for the small 1.3 rebounding difference by scoring 5.3 more points per game.

The discrepancy is even larger if you add assists. Garnett averages 2.0 assists per game.  Only Chandler and Lopez average fewer. The rest of the players average at least 3.2 more assists with Noah leading the way at 4.1.

Who should get the starting spot?  That depends on what you value.  If scoring the main goal then Pierce would get the nod, with Lopez a close second.  Neither of them rebound well though.  If rebounding is he more important, than Varajoa is the choice.  Noah and Chandler along with Varejao are the only other players with double-digit rebounding numbers.

A true All-Star should be an all-around player, especially to be worthy of starting.  Looking at the total body of work of each of these players shows how unworthy Garnett is to start.  The chart combines each player’s points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks per game.

Anderson Varajao


Joakim Noah


Paul Pierce


Al Horford


Greg Monroe


Brook Lopez


Tyson Chandler


Kevin Garnett


This shows just how bad of a selection Garnett is.  Varejao far outpaces the rest of the group and should have been voted the starter.  He has since been injured and now, due to a blood clot in his leg, will miss the rest of the season.

Noah, Pierce and Horford are basically a dead heat to replace Varejao. As frontcourt players their main responsibilities are scoring and rebounding.  A player that can get assists is nice, but some of the greatest forwards and centers of all-time do not have great assists numbers.

Horford should get Varajao’s spot.  His 15.3 points and 9.8 rebounds are the best combination of these two important stats.

As for Garnett, not only should he not be a starter, but he should not make the team.  The other seven players on the list have far outplayed him this season and it is not even close.   There is not one reasonable argument that can be made for Garnett to have a roster spot over any of these other players.

That is what makes his selection as a starter even more wrong.  This is just one more example why the fans really should not have a vote in any All-Star Game. At least a few of these players will still make the team when the rest of the rosters are announced.  Because of the fans though, at least one deserving player will be forced to sit home, while Kevin Garnett takes their spot.

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