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Vote Nash, vote often?

Probably the last thing Warriors fans want to do is show support to a point guard other than their own Baron Davis, but if you’re a GS faithful and want to see BD in the All-Star Game next month, start clicking for Steve Nash instead of your own star.

The reasoning is this: Nash is one of only two guards who are mortal locks to make the Western Conference squad. (The other is Kobe Bryant.) Chris Paul is a near-certainty, but not quite at that same level. Everyone else (Baron, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Allen Iverson, Brandon Roy, Deron Williams, etc.) is a step below, fighting for one and maybe two more spots.

As of the update released Jan. 10, Houston’s Tracy McGrady was second in balloting among Western Conference guards with 907,639 votes and stood to be named a starter. Now, McGrady would never get chosen by the WC coaches as a reserve, not after missing as much time as he has this season. So if McGrady gets knocked out of that spot, Davis’ chances become that much better.

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That’s especially true if McGrady were to be bumped by Nash, who was fourth at 808,995 votes, instead of Iverson (third at 827,273). If Nash wins a starting spot, that would mean that probably two at-large berths will be available for that group of guys chasing Paul.

If Nash fails, it’s hard to see how Baron gets on the team. At that point, it’s four guys in (Kobe, McGrady, Paul and Nash) with one spot available, and I can’t believe the coaches will leave off Roy in favor of BD. (One caveat: If McGrady is hurt badly enough that he can’t play, then it becomes a David Stern-judged horse race between AI and BD to replace him, and I think BD could win that.)

– Geoff

Geoff Lepper

Geoff Lepper has covered the Warriors since 2005 for the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times. Before that, he covered baseball and college sports for the Marin Independent Journal.

  • http://shligginit.blogspot.com/ Larry Bud

    After Sunday Night’s game and seeing Baron in his armor clad outfit there is nothing I want more then for Baron to have some extra days off during the all-star break. As important as it is individually for Baron, as important as it is for the organization for Baron, as important as it is for the Bay Area for Baron, and as important as it is for the NBA to have Baron in the NBA All Star game.
    Its more important for the Golden State Warriors to have their leader taking advantage of the his teams February schedule and stay home as long as he possibly can.

  • BayArea Bob

    Great idea, Geoff. I always figured Baron had no shot getting voted in so voting for him was a waste of time. Imagine if we did this from the start, its probably too late for this though. All those votes for Baron going to Nash instead would have bumped TMac off for sure.

  • AJ

    In a way – I don’t want Baron to make it. That way the team and Baron will have a chip on their shoulders the entire year. They will be pissed off at everybody and he will take it out on every team he plays!

  • JustPuked

    Blog Question:

    Marcus,

    Considering the rampant trade rumors involving Mickael Pietrus; Isn’t he a one year bird player? Doesn’t that mean he must agree to any deal for any trade involving him to happen? My understanding is, if Pietrus agrees to be traded, his Bird status will be reset and he will be viewed as a non-bird free agent this summer. Why would he want to do that? Wouldn’t he really be better off in a sign and trade scenario? If this is true, wouldn’t any trade scenario involving him be that much more complicated that just a salary for salary swap since Pietrus would need to be signed to a new, higher salary by his prospective new team?

    Thanks!

    JustPuked

  • PhilB

    I think that there will be six (6) guards on the Western Conf. team.

    Assuming TMac sits out due to injury, this is what I predict:

    SG- Kobe Bryant
    SG- Allen Iverson
    SG- Brandon Roy

    PG- Steve Nash
    PG- Chris Paul
    PG- Baron Davis

    I give Roy the slight edge over Ginobili, Williams and Parker not only because of the impact he’s had on the Blazers but because at 6’6″ Brandon can also play the 2 guard.

    Carlos Boozer is a lock at the PF spot, along with Tim Duncan. That insures that the Jazz and Spurs will have representation on the team effectively leaving Williams, Ginobili and Parker off. Chris Paul is a mortal lock not because the game is in New Orleans but because he’s been the best PG in the West this season, period.
    Baron gets the nod in recognition of the impact he’s had on transforming the Warriors over the past 2 – 3 seasons. He was arguably the best PG in the entire playoffs last year, even better than Parker, Nash, or Williams. Indeed, he almost beat the Mavs by himself, and his dunk over Kirilenko was the best dunk by a guard in the playoffs since John Starks slammed on the Bulls.

    The remaining spots will go to the following:

    C- Yao Ming
    C- Amare Stoudemire
    F- Tim Duncan
    F- Carlos Boozer
    F- Dirk Nowitzki
    F- Carmelo Anthony

    I also expect Josh Howard of the Mavs to get serious consideration just not enough room for him this year.

  • Geoff Lepper

    JustPuked: Well, I’m not Marcus, but … Yes, MP would have to agree to forfeit his Bird rights in order to complete any trade in which he’s included. However, it’s not that crazy an idea. He himself told me that he’d give them up for a team that plays him 35 minutes a night.

    MP knows that a) his stock wasn’t regarded that highly last summer, when he failed to get a suitable deal and had to take the Warriors’ qualifying offer and b) his stock is most likely falling, not rising, with his numbers down across the board and his coach talking about how he’s not the same player as last season.

    Given those facts, what’s the point of waiting for a sign-and-trade this summer? Sure, the Bird rights allow you to get more money at the top end, but MP already failed to get offers at that level last summer. Right now, he just wants a chance to make his numbers more attractive to potential employers. And that’s not going to happen as the eighth man on a team that barely goes eight deep.

    – Geoff

  • Geoff Lepper

    PhilB: If the coaches choose to make both of their wildcard picks guards (meaning six guards total) AND McGrady doesn’t play, then BD’s chances are much, much better. Probably 80-20 or even 90-10 at that point.

    However … I don’t see those things coming to pass. I think McGrady is going to win and he’s going to play. And even though I feel this is the Year of the Guard in the West, the coaches could just as easily go with (as you mentioned) Josh Howard, who should have made it last season, or Denver’s Marcus Camby. The guy’s second in rebounds (14.4) and first in blocks with an astounding 4.0 per game. That’s just plain crazy.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if McGrady bumps AI and Camby bumps BD from your squad. Don’t forget that BD will never get the support of Byron Scott and probably George Karl as well — and that’s 14 percent of the voters for reserves right there.

    – Geoff

  • PhilB

    Thanks for the update on the rules….TMac mentioned in an article released today that he wouldn’t mind giving up his spot to someone more deserving, but if he wins, the league office won’t allow it.

    I’m not sure that Camby makes the squad, however. His defensive numbers are impressive to be sure, but I agree with Kenny and Chuck on this one; his offense is totally non-existent. If they go with another big man I say a surprise pick could be Tyson Chandler, with 12pts 12rbs giving the team a 2nd player from the Hornets squad.

  • JustPuked

    Geoff, thanks for the fantastic and detailed reply. I only used Marcus’s name because the blog question format was his but I really appreciate you taking the time to answer it. Considering that this was your entry…you were very gracious in your reply.

    Pietrus seems like a really nice, down to earth and humble guy. He clearly plays with a lot of joy/passion. Unfortunately he also continues to make some of the same mistakes over and over again which makes one question his lack of improvement in those areas. I definitely appreciate all he’s brought to the Warriors, but it appears he’s not in the long term plans of Mullin/Nelson. That’s probably for the best.

    Do you think Nellie’s musings on the inevitability of a mid season trade is all a smoke screen or the real deal? In the past, Mullin’s been pretty tight lipped about all of his trades. If Nellie is letting the cat out of the bag that would seem Nellie’s either ruining Mullin’s MO or just putting the usual Nellie motivational tactics to work. What’s your take?