By JERRY TAPP
Scorers make up the bulk of All-Star Game selection
If you need any proof that players who score a lot of points find a way onto an NBA All-Star Game roster, consider this: Of the 31 players who are currently (through games of February 8) averaging 20 or more points per game this season, 20 of them are on one of the two NBA All-Star Game rosters.
Of the 11 players who are averaging 20+ points per game that did not make the All-Star Game rosters this season, Devin Booker leads the way with a 24.9 points per game average this season. He is tied for 12th in the league’s scoring race.
There are six players who made this year’s All-Star Game who have a scoring average less than 20 points per game: Dwyane Wade (14.0) and Ben Simmons (17.0) from Team LeBron and Kyle Lowry (14.2), Khris Middleton (17.3), Dirk Nowitzki (4.4) and D’Angelo Russell (19.8) from Team Giannis. For the record, Wade and Nowitzki were added to this year’s roster by Commissioner Adam Silver as special roster additions.
There have been 15 players who played in an NBA All-Star Game who ended the season with a scoring average of 10 points or less. The last player in this category was back in the 2005-06 season when Ben Wallace played in the All-Star Game that year and ended the season with a 7.3 per game scoring average.
Wallace made an NBA All-Star Game roster four straight seasons (2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06) with a season-ending points per game average under 10 points per game. (Of course, savvy NBA fans will know that Wallace’s main contribution during his career was rebounding and defense.)
Here are the players who made an All-Star Game roster in a season when their season-ending scoring average was 10 points or less that year.
7 seasons: Dick McGuire
4 seasons: Ben Wallace
2 seasons: Slater Martin, Dennis Rodman
1 season: Don Buse, James Donaldson, Mark Eaton, Bill Gabor, Tom Gola, Bob Harrison, Dikembe Mutumbo, Andy Phillip, Richie Regan, Bill Russell, Wes Unseld.
There have been seven players who ended an NBA season with a per-game scoring average above 27 points per game who did not make the All-Star Game that season. They are:
Adrian Dantley, 1982-83,
30.7 points per game
Bob Rule, 1970-71, 29.8
World B. Free, 1978-79, 28.8
Tiny Archibald, 1971-72, 28.2
Purvis Short, 1984-85, 28.0
Dominique Wilkins, 1984-85, 27.4
Wilt Chamberlain, 1969-70, 27.3
There have also been 25 players who averaged 25 or more points per game in a season that did not make an NBA All-Star Game roster that season. Three players, Damian Lillard, Michael Redd and Purvis Short have had it happen to them twice in their careers.
Here’s one more stat: Noted above is that 20 of the 31 players averaging 20 or more points per game this season made an All-Star Game squad (64.5%). Of the 17 players averaging 10 or more rebounds per game this season, seven (41%) made the All-Star game; of the 14 players averaging seven or more assists per game, seven (50%) made the All-Star Game; of the 15 players averaging 1.6 or more steals per game, six (40%) made the All-Star Game; and, of the 14 players who are averaging 1.5 or more blocks per game, only three (21%) made an All-Star game roster.
Yes, the numbers show us … putting the ball in the basket is the key for finding a way onto an NBA All-Star Game roster.
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— Photo by Bill Tennessen