Mo Williams upset about All-Star snub

The All-Star reserves were announced last night and Mo Williams’ name was not on the list. And he’s none too happy about it.

The Magic will get three All-Stars—Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis now as well as starting center Dwight Howard—but the Cavs, despite having the best record in the NBA, will only send LeBron James.

Really, it came down to Nelson or Williams, and Mo first and foremost didn’t want to take anything away from his colleague.

“Congratulations to him,” Williams said with a smile. “He deserves it, but there’s only a certain amount of players that can play.”

“You want me to tell you like it is?” Williams chuckled. “Then I’ll tell it like it is. It’s a tragedy. How many players get into the game, and how many players did the Magic get in? They’ve got three players, and we’ve got the best record. Not just in the Eastern Conference, but in the whole league… Best team in the world, and we got one player.”

The guy’s got a point, and [Ben] Wallace’s got his back.

“He took us from a team that was on the verge of competing for a championship to making us a legit championship contender,” Wallace added.

I disagree with Wallace that Williams is the main reason that the Cavs are playing as well as they are (or were, before getting trounced by the Magic last night). LeBron has returned from his stint with Team USA with a focus on defense, and that has translated to the rest of the team. He even has Williams gaining a rep for being a decent defender, which is something that has plagued him throughout his career.

Here are the YTD stats for Williams and Nelson:

Williams: 16.92 PER (#16 PG), 17.0 p, 4.1 a, 3.3 r, 0.8 s, 47% FG, 38% 3PT, 94% FT

Nelson: 20.94 PER (#4 PG), 16.9 p, 5.3 a, 3.4 r, 1.2 s, 51% FG, 45% 3PT, 88% FT

The two players are essentially the same in points and rebounds. Mo has an advantage in free throw percentage, but Jameer has a big advantage in assists, steals, FG% and three-point accuracy. Moreover, Williams plays an extra two minutes per game, so he has more time to post stats. Clearly, from the Player Efficiency Rating, Nelson is the far more productive and efficient player.

Williams has also come up fairly small in the Cavs’ three “marquee” games this season. He shot 6-16 in a bad loss against the Lakers on Jan. 19 and posted just 13 points and one assist against the Celtics on Jan. 9. That trend continued after the reserves were announced when he shot just 4-15 from the field against the Magic last night.

So this comes down to how many players elite teams should get on the All-Star team. I actually think that Mo is more deserving than Rashard Lewis, but that Nelson is more deserving than Williams. But this probably has to do more with LeBron than anything. He is viewed as a one-man wrecking crew and that will automatically discount the contributions of his teammates. Throw in the fact that Allen Iverson was voted in by the fans and it was obvious that someone was going to get screwed. It happens every year.

Williams has a gripe, but Jameer Nelson deserves to be an All-Star, there’s no doubt about that.

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