The NBA All-Star Game is less than a month away. The starters were selected by the fans and revealed on Thursday. The reserves will be selected by NBA head coaches and announced this coming Thursday.
Jrue Holiday has more than a fighting chance to make his all-star debut.
Friday night, in come-from-behind fashion, the Sixers topped Toronto, 108-101, in overtime. Holiday led the way with 33 points and 14 assists, including the basket that forced overtime and all 12 of the Sixers' OT points.
Now in his fourth NBA season, Holiday has quickly ascended to the top when it comes to Eastern Conference point guards. He is averaging 19.4 points and 9.0 assists; the Clippers' Chris Paul and the Thunders Russell Westbrook are the only other players across the league averaging at least 16 points and eight assists. Both Westbrook and Paul have multiple all-star appearances.
Doug Collins thinks Holiday is having an outstanding season but the Sixers' 17-23 record could be a hindrance to Holiday wearing an all-star jersey in a couple weeks.
It will be hard, tough, Collins said of Holidays all-star chances. If you are asking me if he is playing at an all-star level? Absolutely he is playing at an all-star level. If we were winning and in a different position would his chances be better? Absolutely. There are a lot of point guards. When you look at Jrue and see how well he has played and what he has done for our team he is definitely in the conversation. Will our record hurt him? I would say yes.
Collins will soon make his reserve selections, a task he says is not difficult and one where he applies a formula to make close calls.
First thing I look at is what teams are winning and I focus in on those players, Collins explained. It is not fair that you might not put a guy on that is playing on a poor team but if it is close I have always rewarded the guys on winning teams.
This time last year we were 20-9 and Andre Iguodala made the team. And Lou Williams had much consideration because we had a very good team.
The Sixers led the Atlantic Division at the time the 2012 All-Star team was named.
Nets point guard Deron Williams was named to that squad as a reserve despite the Nets' 8-20 record at the time. Ironically, Williams could be a player who gets the nod over Holiday this year.
Williams is averaging 17.0 points and 7.7 assists, though he is shooting just 41 percent from the floor and 32 percent from three compared to Holidays 46 and 37 percent, respectively.
However, the Nets are 8-1 in the New Year while the Sixers are 3-6.
Holiday leads the Sixers in scoring while Williams is the third-leading scorer for Brooklyn behind Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson.
Holiday has done his part. Now, 30 coaches will decide if it is indeed all-star worthy.
E-mail Dei Lynam at firstname.lastname@example.org