Was Al Horford Last? Is Paul George In? Questions Linger from the All-Star Draft

Twenty four hours after LeBron James and Steph Curry held the inaugural All-Star draft, the question on everyone’s mind was who was the last player taken. Russ Westbrook thought it was him after Carmelo began taunting him with last man taken jokes in the locker room following the Thunder’s win over the Wizards. But we know Westbrook was probably taken before Kyrie. He’s won the All-Star MVP twice.

It matters who was taken last just as it matters who was taken first. The answer to the first is Kevin Durant. The answer to the second is Giannis Antetokounmpo. The third player taken was Anthony Davis. LeBron and Steph aren’t giving up anything else. As for the last player, it makes sense it would be Al Horford.

First, Horford snuck in when he probably shouldn’t have, taking Andre Drummond’s place. But Horford plays for the Celtics and he has the kind of game coaches love becaise he can do everything. He passes, he rebounds, he scores when he has to. He is a great leader, a don’t look at me player. He just fits. But as for the All-Star game which is dominated by the egocentric and flashy, his game is just too quiet. I say he was the last one taken.

More draft questions.

Since DeMarcus ripped his Achilles, who is his replacement?

Paul George. George is having a very good season but not a career season. His 43% is fourth best on the resume. His three ball is a career high. His free throw percentage has dipped as has his rebounding and assists. But his steals are a career best, 2.2 a game. For the third year in a row, he is a 20 point scorer. He’s 5th in Real-Plus Minus for small forwards. Last season he was 9th. Plus, it’s his hometown. Front court player replacing a front court player.

Steph Teammate Logic the Real MVP?

If the West wins the All-Star game you have to look at what Steph did. He made the calculaton that teammates bond over the All-Star weekend, they like to have another friendly face on the court. Teammates know each other’s tendencies. When they are in the game together there is a high level of reactive production. On Curry’s team is Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns, and Steph, Dray and Klay. Give Steph an A for thinking outside the box.

Is Adam Silver happier than Kyrie Irving is bitter?

The happiest person in America this morning was Adam Silver. During Super Bowl prep, everyone was talking about a Skype convo between Curry and James. Tom Brady? Who cares. It’s all about Steph and LeBron and who was picked first and who was picked last and was Kyrie the last pick of LeBron’s and was KAT still on the board when LeBron took Kevin Love. Conceptually, it was a slam dunk because the NBA is made for these kinds of what ifs, leading all professional athletes in social media participation. So Silver was smiling today because everyone was talking about an All-Star game that won’t be played for another month. Kyrie on the other hand must have been bitter. He burned the house down to get away from LeBron and now LeBron, as we knew he would, passive-aggressive savant that he is, forced Kyrie to do the one thing Kyrie doesn’t want to do: listen to LeBron.

Will this be the highest All-Star ratings ever?

Maybe. The problem the league has is one of perception. Will this fix the problem of the ailing game that is more about dunks and threes than actually playing a basketball game? If the players want to play a real Rucker Park like game then that is what will happen. But injuries are the big fear and players just want to chill. The L.A. vibe means All-Star weekend will be 24-7 parties.  It probably won’t live up to the drama of the All-Star draft. Shame.