NBA Notebook: Jarrett Allen among biggest All-Star snubs
Welcome to another edition of our NBA Notebook. It’s the last week before the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline, and there's plenty to discuss as the season picks up steam. Let’s dive in!
ALL-STAR RESERVES SELECTED
It’s official, here are your 2021-22 NBA All-Star reserves:
Special congratulations are in order for first-timers Darius Garland and Fred VanVleet. VanVleet becomes just the fourth undrafted player to become an All-Star, and Garland is the engine of Cleveland’s Cinderella season so far.
Kevin Durant and Draymond Green are both going to miss the All-Star game, which means that Adam Silver will be selecting one reserve fill-in for each conference. In the West, this seems like Dejuonte Murray’s spot to lose, as the San Antonio Spurs guard is having a prodigiously productive season. But in the East things are much tougher.
Of the East snubs, several have strong cases. But Jarrett Allen, Pascal Siakam, Jrue Holiday, and LaMelo Ball are the four most deserving. I’d argue that Allen has the strongest case of the bunch, and probably only missed out because of recently missed time and Garland's overwhelming brilliance. Still, he is posting 16.0 points and 10.7 rebounds on 67.8% from the field, while also playing inspired interior defense.
JOE INGLES TEARS ACL
The Utah Jazz were dealt a devastating blow this week, as longtime swingman Joe Ingles suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season. At 34 years old and with declining athleticism already, this may be the end of his career.
Jazz F Joe Ingles has “literally no doubt” he will come back strong from torn ACL. “I still love playing,” Ingles told ESPN. “I want to play in the NBA. I’m not trying to play anywhere else right now. The goals I’ve got and have had haven’t changed.” https://t.co/sosYWszse5— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 4, 2022
Ingles is a beloved figure within and outside the Jazz locker room, and his combination of defense, shooting, and secondary playmaking is not readily replaceable. It becomes more likely now that the Jazz use Ingles' salary and pick enticement to upgrade at the trade deadline, as Utah is in win-now mode.
The Jazz, meanwhile, have lost seven of their last 10 games as Donovon Mitchell and Rudy Gobert continue to miss time with injuries. Their dreams of finishing as the No.1 overall seed are seemingly dead.
TY LUE THROWS COLD WATER ON KAWHI RETURN
The LA Clippers had another spirited win against their crosstown rival Los Angeles Lakers last night, but the celebratory mood was short-lived. In Ty Lue’s post-game presser, he made comments that make it sound distinctly as if Kawhi Leonard is not going to return this season.
Ty Lue said when asked about his stars being out, “We know Kawhi's probably not gonna come back.” Asked to clarify later, Lue said he hopes every day Kawhi will return and then reiterated his phrase tonight that was used about PG’s MRI: “Hope is stronger than fear.”— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) February 4, 2022
That sure sounds like Leonard is done for the year, which means Paul George, who is scheduled to undergo another MRI on Feb. 24, has little incentive to rush back. This may indeed be a lost season for the Clippers, even if they still prove a tough out in the Play-In Tournament.
RAMONA SHELBURNE ON BEN SIMMONS
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN released a new, highly detailed report on the ongoing standoff between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers.
One of the critical pieces of information that came out in the story, which is well worth reading, is that contrary to some reporting Simmons is in fact being fined for his ongoing absences. In fact, he’s been fined $19 million up to this point, and could be fined a total of $31 million should he not return to play at any point this season.
If you are one of the few remaining people that still held out hope that Simmons might suit up for the Sixers after the deadline, this should dispel any doubt. If Ben Simmons is willing to walk away from $30 million, he’s not going to give in here.
ARE THE BROOKLYN NETS FINISHED?
The Brooklyn Nets, prohibitive preseason title favorites, have now lost six straight games, with the latest being a lifeless showing on the road against the Sacramento Kings.
Yet on the books, the Nets are still favorites to win it all at +300. That simply does not reflect reality. Not only are there very real fractures among the Nets' core trio, but Kyrie Irving is definitely not getting vaccinated, Kevin Durant is out injured, and James Harden is still nursing his troubling hamstring injury. And now Joe Harris’ status for the year is in jeopardy, as he may need another procedure to deal with his ankle injury that is not progressing.
There just isn’t value in betting the Nets to win it all, as they shouldn't even be favorites to win the conference at this point, let alone the championship. This Nets team may go down as the greatest "What If" squad of all time.
But there is still value to be had on the board. The Phoenix Suns just finished their second double-digit win streak, are ranked second on both sides of the basketball per Cleaning the Glass, and are a steal at +600.
NBA Championship 2021/2022
Sat, June 18 2022, 11:58 PM
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers