Earlier today, the NBA 2009 All-Stars were announced and Carmelo Anthony found out that he had been passed by Amare Stoudemire for a starting forward position. He actually dropped from 2nd to 5th in the final fan voting. Breaking his hand and not having played since January 5th had a lot to do with that. Carmelo has publically stated that he would have given his starting spot to Amare if he had hung onto it, since the game is being hosted in Amare’s backyard of Phoenix. If you haven’t already seen it, check out Amare’s humorous All-Star voting campaign website.
Carmelo is averaging 21.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. While his scoring is down, Carmelo’s all-around numbers are still top rate. Considering that he’s played most of this season with a nagging elbow injury, he’s actually having one of his better seasons. I think he’ll actually have a huge second half of the season when he comes back from his hand injury at the end of January. The Nuggets have managed to go 4-3 in Carmelo’s absence, but its been quite obvious that they’ve missed Anthony’s offensive firepower, and rebounding at the SF position in several of the losses.
To get into his third consecutive All-Star game, Carmelo’s main competition at forward is Dirk Nowitzki. Both could be added in as reserves. The other thing going for him would be Denver’s impressive 28-15 record and their 3rd place standing in the Western Conference. A team that good should not be shut out in representing at the All-Star game. The Nuggets other best candidates would be Chauncey Billups and Nene. Nene has career high stats in nearly every category, and is leading the NBA in field-goal percentage. Chauncey single-handedly instilled life in a 1-2 team that was ranked middle of the pack in most NBA power rankings to a 26-12 record since his arrival and a consistent 6-7 NBA Power ranking.