Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony suffered an injury during their game against Toronto, leaving his spot on the All-Star roster in question. Is either Josh Smith or Al Horford in position to go to the game instead?
The deep right arm contusion suffered by Carmelo Anthony has put his participation in the All-Star game in Houston in question. If he were to miss the game, the week that Josh Smith and Al Horford has just completed might, just might, have done enough to get named to the squad.
Per NBA Stats, Smith has enjoyed a nice run over the last 10 games in the traditional, typically looked at by coaches and commissioners, categories. Smith has averaged the magical 20/10, going 21.3 and 10.3 over those 10 games. That's good enough for fifth among all NBA forwards over that time, behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge and Anthony.
But Josh isn't the only hot, hot Hawk. Over that same 10 game span, Al Horford has scored more of those points per game than any center in basketball except for Brook Lopez at 19.5 per game. Horford couldn't quite crest the 10 rebounds per game to make the perfect meme for traditional stat watchers, so his 9.8 over that span will need to suffice.
Horford is fourth in the East in Win Shares among forwards and centers, frontcourtsmen, as they are known in NBA All-Star parlance. Smith is considerably further back in this category, thanks to his lousy, lousy start offensively. Smith is tied for 8th for the season in defensive win shares, however.
Question is: Is what the Hawks have done up to the break and Smith and Horford's contribution to that enough to get them the nod should Carmelo decide to skip the All-Star game?
UPDATE: According to NBC PBT's Kurt Helin, Carmelo Anthony will play in the All-Star game. Kudos to the commentors who called it in the comments below.
Why is Anthony playing? Because if he sat out the All-Star Game injured the league would make him sit out the Knicks game Wednesday as well. The league doesn't take kindly go guys getting suddenly injured and skipping the All-Star Game but being well enough to play in games on either side of it. It sets a bad precedent. So if you miss the All-Star Game you will miss more.