The NBA All-Star Game starters were revealed Thursday night, and since the fan votes are released periodically in the weeks leading up to the announcement, there were no grand surprises. But there will be no hints before the reserves are announced next week, and those decisions will be made by the head coaches.
On Wednesday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Raptors coach Dwane Casey shared some insight on how they will make their picks.
“Probably the biggest criteria is looking at the team’s record,” Casey said, “because you can score 50 a game and have a losing record, and you’re not going to [be an] All-Star. That’s not only for me, but for all coaches.”
Casey was probably exaggerating just a bit, because a 50-point scorer on any team would be a lock, but you get his point. Wins matter. Stevens echoed that sentiment, saying he uses team success as an easy tiebreaker among players who otherwise appear to be equals.
“Probably a differentiating factor will be who scares me the most,” Stevens said. “That’s just kind of the way I’d look at it. Obviously, who do you have to prepare for differently? Who makes you tweak what you normally do?”
When Stevens analyzes numbers and figures, he does find some advanced statistics quite helpful.
“I look more at efficiency than anything else,” he said. “I don’t get too caught up in points per game or rebounds per game or those types of things. You get caught up in efficiency and those types of things. You get caught up in efficiency from a points standpoint. You get caught up in rebound percentages. I think that, again, you have to also factor in fourth quarter and crunch-time performance.”Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach