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ACCDN Host Jeff Fischel picks his All-ACC NBA Team for the Eastern and Western Conference
Let's start here: Carlos Boozer didn't make my All-ACC Eastern Conference team. That's right, a guy who averaged 16 and 10 last year didn't make it.
Tar Heel fans, before you smirk too much: Danny Green didn't make my Western Conference team either. Sorry, a postseason hot streak and a pregame dance weren't quite enough.
Now that the rest of you are in a good mood knowing Duke & Carolina fans are ticked off, let's start with the one rule I was given:
1) Pick the best 5 current players in each conference from current ACC schools regardless of position.
"Can I pick a 6th man?"
That led to a second rule.
2) Sure, pick a 6th man.
THE EASTERN CONFERENCE
KYRIE IRVING understands that this game has always been, and will always be, about buckets.
If you're into advanced stats--and if you're not you're really going to hate a lot of what I've written--the former Duke star's Player Efficiency Rating was 21.51, good for 18th in the NBA and fourth among point guards. Imagine how good he'll be this year with Anthony Bennett as his pick-and-roll partner in Cleveland.
I have a man-crush on another Blue Devil, LUOL DENG. Yes, he does everything that shows up on the box score. 16.5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists a game last season. But he is also a shutdown defender for the Bulls. Some of the best perimeter scorers in the NBA become incredibly inefficient the second he starts guarding them.
It's no secret Syracuse's CARMELO ANTHONY is an imperfect superstar. He shoots. And shoots. Heat check. And shoots some more. But did I even hesitate putting him on my East team? Of course not. The Knicks' go-to guy can ball.
Now CHRIS BOSH takes a lot of shots from snarky internet geeks and bloggers. That's kind of crazy considering he's a bit of an internet geek himself... and still really good. The former Georgia Tech star was worth 11.6 wins last year for the World Champion Heat, 21st in the NBA. Plus, he was on Disney Channel's "Jessie", making jokes about Lebron having Bieber Fever.
Another Yellow Jacket who deserves to be on the East squad is the Sixers' THADDEUS YOUNG. Last season, at just 24 years old, he averaged 15 points, 7.5 boards and shot over 50 percent from the field for the third straight season. Plus, my bleeding heart has a soft spot for what he does off the court.
My sixth man is a Deac, JEFF TEAGUE. He averaged 14 and a half points and 7 assists last year for the Hawks, and bumped up his assist:turnover ration to 2.5:1. If he improves on that as much this year as he did last year, Teague could become an elite point guard.
THE WESTERN CONFERENCE
Out of respect, I'll start with the Big Fundamental, Wake Forest's TIM DUNCAN. I'm pretty sure he's one of the 10 or 12 best players ever. And at 36 years old, he's still awesome. I don't need to say more, do I?
How about another Deac? CHRIS PAUL. Whether you're into PER or Win Shares, he's the best point guard in the NBA and third-best player in the league, behind only LBJ and Durant. CP3 is Lob City's creative, brilliant, meticulous conductor. Plus, when he holds a charity fundraiser, he gets the big names to show up.
I'd have the quickest backcourt in NBA history: Paul and TY LAWSON. He's improved his scoring and assists every season with the Nuggets. ESPN says he was worth nearly 9 wins last year.
Now, this is where things get interesting. NC State's JJ HICKSON is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He averaged a double-double last year. And the modern metrics say he is one of the top 20 4 or 5 men in the NBA.
Let me throw another potentially surprising pick at you: DERRICK FAVORS. The ex-Yellow Jacket averaged a double-double per 36 minutes last year. In fact, the 22-year-old is averaging a double-double per 36 minutes for his career. That's crazy good. And I think he could have a breakthrough season.
My 6th man surprised even me: JJ REDICK. I know you hate him. He even admits he deserved it. I can't believe he's carved out a long NBA career, and I can't believe how good he is. Whether you use PER or Win Shares, he was a top 20 shooting guard last year. He's improved on his scoring each of the past 5 seasons.
I mentioned Boozer and Green off the top. They were the 2 guys I really hated leaving off. I was torn between Boozer and Teague. Their PERs last season were very similar. I’m thinking we could start seeing Boozer’s decline. In the West, it was Green or Redick. Redick just has the better track record right now. Somehow, I think Boozer and Green will find it within themselves to overcome the disappointment.
So there ya go. Disagree? Tweet me @JeffFischel. But don't just tell me I'm an idiot. I already know that. Tell me why. I look forward to it.