West and Okafur All Stars???

27 Jan

The starters for the NBA’s All-Star Game will be announced Thursday night, and if the vote holds true from the first three announced tabulations, New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul should earn his fourth consecutive appearance, third as a starter.

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Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard shoots between New Orleans Hornets Emeka Okafor and David West, two players Coach Monty Williams says are playing at an All-Star level this season.

However, Coach Monty Williams was lamenting the fact Wednesday night, as New Orleans prepared to play the Golden State Warriors with a nine-game winning streak on the line, that two other players on his roster were equally deserving. And, that he likely didn’t have enough sway to earn them a spot.

Forward David West and center Emeka Okafor are putting up statistics worthy of notoriety, but neither will make the team without the support of Western Conference coaches when they vote for All-Star reserves. League rules mandate Williams cannot vote for either player.

“I feel bad, because I feel like if they played for a coach who had some sort of impact in the coaching world, or basketball world, people might be talking about them,” Williams said. “But I don’t think my words carry that much weight. If you look at the numbers and what they’ve done over the course of the season, not in bunches, they’ve done it all season. People aren’t talking about them the way they should.”

West is the Hornets’ leading scorer at 19 points per game and averages 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Okafor is averaging 11 points, 10.4 rebounds and just less than two blocks per game.

“David plays every night, hits game-winning shots, draws a double-team every night,” Williams said. “He’s maybe the best pick-and-pop forward in the game, but because he doesn’t beat his chest, or pop his collar and dance after every shot, he doesn’t get the acclaim that he should. It’s hard to combat that when you play in a small market.

“We’re not going to complain. We’d much rather win big in the end than the All-Star Game. But I just think those guys, they should get more recognition.”
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