Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010-11 All-Star Ballot

New readers, please read the basics before leaving any comments.

It's mid-November, so you know what that means! That's right, the ballot for this year's all-star game is up and running. Now, I know what you're thinking: isn't it a little bit too early to tell which players will end up having a good (half)season? Of course it is. But the ballot-organizers get together and select the players who are going to be on the list before the season even starts. They are also somewhat restrained by trying to pick at least three players - one guard, one forward, and one centre - from each team, while limiting the totals to 48 guards, 48 forwards, and 24 centres (divide those numbers in half for the conference numbers).

But these are members of the press who select the ballots - not Statistical Experts (TM) like us Wages of Wins Network analysts (I get to use that title because my season predictions are currently beating John Hollinger of ESPN). How would I have selected the 2010-11 All-Star ballot, and how does it compare to the real one? Here is the real ballot:

Based on last year's total wins, here are the funny picks:
  • Mario Chalmers, Heat
  • DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
  • Boris Diaw, Bobcats
  • Rashard Lewis, Magic
  • Linas Kleiza, Raptors
  • Elton Brand, Sixers
  • Thaddeus Young, Sixers
  • Shaquille O'Neal, Celtics
  • Roy Hibbert, Pacers
  • Andrea Bargnani, Raptors
  • Eric Gordon, Clippers
  • Derek Fisher, Lakers
  • Aaron Brooks, Rockets
  • Tony Parker, Spurs
  • Corey Brewer, Timberwolves
  • Monta Ellis, Warriors
  • Jeff Green, Thunder
  • Michael Beasley, Timberwolves
  • Chris Kaman, Clippers
  • Mehmet Okur, Jazz

And here is what my ballot would look like:

Basically, all I did was take the top players (in terms of total wins produced) and slot them in - with one exception: I added Blake Griffin in with the West forwards. I also did a few tricky things with positions in order to make the All-Star ballot as stacked as possible, and fans of the Clippers, Sixers, Pacers, and Wizards will be sad to know that their favourite teams failed to reach the desired three players. If the league got mad at me for that and I had to include at least three players from each team, I'd exchange the following players:
  • Marcin Gortat of the Magic for Andray Blatche of the Wizards
  • C.J. Watson of the Bulls for Gilbert Arenas of the Wizards
  • Anthony Parker of the Cavs for Evan Turner of the Sixers
  • Terrence Williams of the Nets for Brandon Rush of the Pacers
  • Erick Dampier of the TBDs for DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers
None of these switches would be particularly devastating to anyone involved.

How do the lists compare? Here is the difference between the two lists at the team level:

Pretty interesting that, despite several changes at the player level, things remain relatively similar at the team level. This is probably because the members of the press take into consideration (both consciously and unconsciously) how successful teams are when they choose who gets on the ballot.

Just thought I'd post on this topic while it's current. Updated team stats (and maybe more about top three picks...if I can stomach it) coming in the next few days.

 - Devin

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