The Pulse: All-Star Assessment


Welcome to The Pulse, the place to find out what the sports world is thinking. Every day on ESPN.com, SportsNation registers its opinion on a wide range of topics by casting votes and chatting with experts in The Show. We collect the daily highlights and put them in The Pulse.

Story of the Day: All-Star Reserves

Flip Saunders will coach the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Sunday, Feb. 19 in Houston; the rest of the season he just gets to coach a team of All-Stars in the Eastern Conference.

Fans looked elsewhere when voting for the starters in the All-Star Game, but the Pistons were the center of attention when reserves were announced, earning four of seven bench slots with Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace. But while there was an initial uproar about the exclusion of Gilbert Arenas, easily SportsNation's top choice as the biggest snub, the real debate may center on the West following Arenas' addition to Saunders' squad as an injury replacement on Friday.

So what's the controversy with the Western Conference team? SportsNation voters think Carmelo Anthony got snubbed, but it's tough to pick another forward to bump from the roster. That's not the case at guard, where 50 percent of voters thought Hornets rookie Chris Paul deserved a spot, compared to just 28 percent for Ray Allen.

The Pistons will have four players in the All-Star Game. How many do they deserve? (30,109 votes)
32.4% Three
24.5% Two
23.3% Four
15.0% Five
3.2% One
1.6% None

Voters aren't so sure the Pistons deserved four spots in the All-Star Game, but there's no denying their team dominance. Once again, they top SportsNation's Power Rankings
1. Detroit Pistons
2. San Antonio Spurs
3. Dallas Mavericks
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Miami Heat

  • Rank all 30 teams

    "The Mavericks are the Pistons' bucket boys."
    Chris Sheridan in chat

    Which of these Western Conference guards most deserves a spot in the All-Star Game? (60,873 votes)
    50.3% Chris Paul, Hornets
    28.8% Ray Allen, Sonics
    20.7% Baron Davis, Warriors

    Which player has the biggest beef of all? (30,109 votes)
    37.0% Gilbert Arenas
    25.0% Carmelo Anthony
    11.0% Chris Paul
    5.4% Michael Redd
    5.0% Tayshaun Prince
    2.9% Dwight Howard
    2.6% Jason Kidd
    1.7% Andrei Kirilenko
    1.7% Zydrunas Ilgauskas
    1.7% Marcus Camby
    1.5% Sam Cassell
    1.2% Mike Bibby
    1.2% Baron Davis
    1.1% Mehmet Okur
    0.9% Chris Webber

  • Click here to vote on who got snubbed

    Voice of the Fan
    Two Pistons plus two more Pistons equals me not watching the game. If we wanted to see that many people from the same team, I'd watch a regular season game.
    Jon (Malvern)

    The All-Star Game is far from the only big event in Houston, and despite taking a beating from critics, the Dunk Contest is what most interests 56% of SportsNation voters. So perhaps we should pay attention when 38% of voters make Josh Smith the favorite ahead of Andre Iguodala (30%), Nate Robinson (23%) and Hakim Warrick (9%).

    Four Pistons is bad. Chris Paul not making it is worse. Don't give me that junk about rookies not making it. The best players SHOULD.
    Josh (Knoxville, Tenn.)

    Rasheed Wallace is a good third option on his team; he's not an All-Star power forward.
    Michael (Linden, N.J.)

    Biggest snub has to be a tie. It's an absolute crime that we don't get to see Gilbert Arenas, and maybe a bigger crime that we don't get to see Chris Paul. Both have made their respective teams better and are a joy to see on the hardwood.
    Keith (Pittsburgh)

    I'm not even a Wizards fan, and I don't see how Gilbert Arenas didn't make the squad. He'll make it as an injury replacement, but then I think that Michael Redd should have made the squad over 'Sheed.
    Mike (Washington, D.C.)

    Arenas is fourth in scoring! Paul Pierce is on a crappy team and he gets in, so you can't say Arenas doesn't get in because he is on a horrible team. The All-Star Game is all offense, so get the top scorers in the league in the game!
    Brian (Newburyport, Mass.)

  • Click here for transcript of Dan Shanoff's Morning Quickie

    SportsNation's Show: Expert Opinion
    Eric (N.J.): Who's David Stern going to choose as a replacement for Jermaine O'Neal?

    Chris Sheridan: He'll make his selection over the weekend, and I can't see him passing up Gilbert Arenas, who is fourth in the league in scoring and will be one of the faces of Team USA at the World Championship in Japan this summer. Michael Redd is another strong candidate, but Gilbert is averaging 28-plus points, for pete's sake.

  • Click here for Sheridan's chat transcript

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