These will never be called fouls, because Millsap has such a low regard on the NBA radar. And while these fouls will never be called, winning will be always that much harder to get on the road in the playoffs. We won games on the road in the playoffs under Stockton and Malone because we got calls. We got calls because we had All-NBA players leading our team.
The NBA's best players perform the best when it counts. They also get the most media time, have the most fans, sell the most merch, have the most twitter followers, and get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to getting calls from the refs in close games. They also, usually, are also the players who perform the best when it counts. I could care less about awards and hardware for individuals. What I do care about is team success. And it's easier to reach team goals when your team is led on the court by one of the best NBA players. Things go your way.
Without one of these de facto Top 15 NBA players your club either has to rely upon extreme cohesion, luck, or the other team pooping the bed in order to get by. The teams that advance in the playoffs seem to have at least one (if not more) of these guys on their team. This is not a new phenomina either, when WE had Karl Malone and John Stockton on our team we got far, and they were put on these All-NBA teams yearly. We know the best players perform the best. And they make life easier for your team -- which leads to win. Which is why I seem to harp about this a lot.
If the guys leading your team are not Top 15 players, and we have guys sitting behind them who have the potential to be Top 15 dudes, you are only hurting your teams' PRESENT and hurting your teams' FUTURE by being stubborn about things.
Anyway, here's the first team.
|2011-12 All-NBA First Team||Votes|
|F||LeBron James||Miami Heat||118||596|
|F||Kevin Durant||Oklahoma City Thunder||117||591|
|C||Dwight Howard||Orlando Magic||75||476|
|G||Kobe Bryant||Los Angeles Lakers||104||568|
|G||Chris Paul||Los Angeles Clippers||74||484|
The All-NBA Second, Third, and "others getting vote" lists after the jump.
All-NBA Second and Third Teams:
|2011-12 All-NBA Second Team||Votes|
|F||Kevin Love||Minnesota Timberwolves||16||365|
|F||Blake Griffin||Los Angeles Clippers||-||170|
|C||Andrew Bynum||Los Angeles Lakers||33||400|
|G||Tony Parker||San Antonio Spurs||41||367|
|G||Russell Westbrook||Oklahoma City Thunder||5||239|
|2011-12 All-NBA Third Team||Votes|
|F||Carmelo Anthony||New York Knicks||1||154|
|F||Dirk Nowitzki||Dallas Mavericks||-||136|
|C||Tyson Chandler||New York Knicks||4||60|
|G||Dwyane Wade||Miami Heat||1||235|
|G||Rajon Rondo||Boston Celtics||4||142|
I wish I knew who was voting for which guys == well you kind of can tell. The same people who make the regular season schedule, it seems...
Other players receiving votes:
|Others Receiving Votes|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||Portland Trail Blazers||55|
|Marc Gasol||Memphis Grizzlies||52|
|Derrick Rose||Chicago Bulls||44|
|Josh Smith||Atlanta Hawks||33|
|Paul Pierce||Boston Celtics||31|
|Al Jefferson||Utah Jazz||30|
|Pau Gasol||Los Angeles Lakers||27|
|Steve Nash||Phoenix Suns||24|
|Kevin Garnett||Boston Celtics||22|
|Tim Duncan||San Antonio Spurs||18|
|Joe Johnson||Atlanta Hawks||16|
|Deron Williams||New Jersey Nets||14|
|Rudy Gay||Memphis Grizzlies||10|
|James Harden||Oklahoma City Thunder||8|
|Luol Deng||Chicago Bulls||5|
|Roy Hibbert||Indiana Pacers||5|
|Manu Ginobili||San Antonio Spurs||3|
|Danny Granger||Indiana Pacers||3|
|Joakim Noah||Chicago Bulls||3|
|Monta Ellis||Milwaukee Bucks||2|
|Chris Bosh||Miami Heat||2|
|Luis Scola||Houston Rockets||2|
|Marcin Gortat||Phoenix Suns||2|
|Paul Millsap||Utah Jazz||2|
|Serge Ibaka||Oklahoma City Thunder||2|
|David Lee||Golden State Warriors||1|
|DeMarcus Cousins||Sacramento Kings||1|
So Big Al, our best player who got us to the playoffs has almost HALF the vote as LaMarcus got? See, I think these awards should not matter -- but clearly they do as there are unfair advantages that are afforded to the winners. The NBA isn't going to get rid of the unfair advantages. So if there are unfair advantages to be had, a greater "regard" for our players and their talents -- I'd rather the Jazz benefit from them, and not be victimized because we're on the wrong side of the 'market / talent' axis.
The Jazz will only advance far in the playoffs when we have Top 15 guys leading our team. You get them via trades, free agency, and the draft. To trade for a Top 15 guy we'd have to gut our team. To sign one as a FA we'd need to be attractive to FAs. We're not. This leaves ONLY the draft. The first part of the draft solution is to get high lotto picks, we did that. The second part is to play them. Duh.