Kyle Lowry’s omission from the 2014 Eastern Conference All-Star team is ridiculous.

There’s no other way to put it, really, because the argument against his candidacy is so thin you can see its ribs. It’s Austin Daye-thin.

There’s really no sense dwelling on his “snub” (not like we didn’t see this coming), but I’m going to any way. No, the All-Star Game doesn’t matter all that much. Yes, Lowry is exactly the kind of guy who might take motivation from this and play even better. No, if he were in the Western Conference, this wouldn’t be a discussion. Don’t care, don’t care, don’t care. Kyle Lowry deserves to be in the All-Star Game, and probably deserved to be a starting guard in the East, at that.

So let’s take a look at the arguments against him.

Coaches don’t like him.
This is almost certainly the reason he didn’t get in, because he’s a prickly player who notoriously feuded with Kevin McHale in 2012. Coaches also probably gameplan for DeMar DeRozan more, and if they were only going to vote for one Raptor (more on that in a second), it was going to be DeRozan. Whatever, it’s not the All-Character Game.

The Raptors don’t deserve two All-Stars.
If third in the conference isn’t worthy of two All-Stars, then just make the East team a Miami-Indiana mash-up and have them play the West. The Raptors are 24-21 and are, by all accounts, one of the four best teams in their conference right now. This ain’t baseball, not everybody gets a representative; the best 12 players should go. I’m not suggesting the Raptors definitely deserved two for their place in the standings, just that their place shouldn’t preclude them from having two.

And, as much as some may disagree, if the Raptors were only getting one All-Star, it should have been Lowry (we’ll flesh this out more below).

He’s 53rd in scoring.
Yeah, let’s just move on from using points per game alone as an All-Star qualifier.

And now, the much more compelling case in favor of Lowry.

He’s been the best guard in the East so far this year, full stop.
It’s true. It just is, and it’s only close with John Wall. He’s the defensive leader on the league’s seventh best defense. He’s scored efficiently, he distributes well and has found the balance between the two, he can play on and off the ball and he leads the league in charges drawn. I’m not really sure how you can make a case that any East guard has been better all-around and more important to their team’s success.

The Eye Test
I put this here because I’m about to use some statistics, but it’s worth pointing out that it’s impossible to watch a Raptors game without getting the feeling that Lowry is the straw that stirs the drink. The man defense, while not elite as it once was, is disruptive, and he’s the second most important part of the offense (and could arguably be the alpha dog if need be, as we saw Wednesday).

Basic Stats
A lot of people will throw out Lowry’s 16.8 points a night as a reason he shouldn’t edge out other guards, but the basic stats bear out that Lowry has a strong case. To wit:

East Guards GP MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3FG% FTA
DeMar DeRozan 43 37.7 21.8 4.7 3.6 1.2 0.5 42.8 30.8 7
Kyrie Irving 42 35.1 21.5 3 6.2 1.3 0.4 42.8 36.5 4.6
Arron Afflalo 43 37 20 4.3 3.7 0.7 0 47 42 5
John Wall 45 36.9 19.8 4.4 8.5 1.9 0.4 42.3 32.5 5.4
Dwyane Wade 32 33 18.4 4.7 4.7 1.7 0.6 53.8 40 4.4
Kyle Lowry 45 36.3 16.8 4.3 7.6 1.6 0.2 43.7 40.6 4.3
Joe Johnson 42 33.7 15.7 3.4 2.8 0.5 0.2 44.3 38.6 2.7
Lance Stephenson 43 35.6 14.2 7.1 5.3 0.7 0.1 49.9 34.4 2.6

Yes, Lowry scores less than some of the names on here but only Wall has a more complete overall stat line, and he does so less efficiently, as we’ll see shortly. Lowry might rank sixth in that group in scoring but he stands out as a positive in several categories, too. And these are the East’s elite guards, not cherry-picked comparisons.

He’s not a slam dunk strictly looking at offense – though I’d argue only Wall’s slightly less efficient production here trumps Lowry’s overall – but this is a narrow view of one side of the ball.

Advanced Stats
Just skip this section if you’re anti-stats but please note I’m not making my case from them, they simply support what my eyes have told me all year – that Lowry is an elite East guard. To wit:

East Guards GP MPG PER TS% Rb% Ast% TO% USG% ORtg DRtg WinShares
Kyle Lowry 45 36.3 20.4 58.7 6.8 35.4 13.6 20.6 122 104 7.3
Lance Stephenson 43 35.6 15.9 56.3 11.2 24.6 16.9 19.3 109 98 5.2
John Wall 45 36.9 19.8 52.1 6.9 39.4 15.8 27.5 106 104 4.5
DeMar DeRozan 43 37.7 17.9 51.7 7 17.9 9.5 27.9 107 105 4.4
Kyrie Irving 42 35.1 20.2 52.4 4.8 34.2 11.1 29.2 108 109 3.8
Arron Afflalo 43 37 17.6 58.6 6.4 18 11.7 23.8 111 111 3.8
Dwyane Wade 32 33 21.3 57.8 8.9 24.5 15.4 27.1 108 104 3.1
Joe Johnson 42 33.7 14.9 55.3 6 14.9 8.9 21.7 110 112 2.6

Lowry blows away the field in Win Shares, which can be fickle in smaller samples but begins to tell a pretty convincing story at this point in the year (and when his lead is so sizeable). His PER is second to only Wade, who has played far less, and nobody tops his true shooting percentage because he hits so many threes and gets to the line fairly well. Only Wall bests his assist rate but Wall’s turnovers and usage are also far higher (note, too, that Lowry’s low usage here actually makes him “hanging” in the basic stats even more impressive). His team also performs better with him on the floor than any other player, a huge nod to his importance to the Raptors.

If you like your stats really advanced, Talking Practice’s RAPM ranks Lowry 35th overall, behind only Wade and George Hill among East guards. An ASPM measure ranks Lowry as the seventh best player in the NBA this season and tops among East guards, too, and ESPN’s Estimated Wins Added (offense only) ranks him 18th overall and first among East guards.

All of this is a fancy way of saying that spreadsheets back up what a large chunk of the Raptors fan base has been espousing the last month or so: Lowry’s an All-Star.

Smarter people than me agree.
Maybe I’m just a homer and I’m too close to the team (and Lowry, who I’ve long been a fan of). While it’s not unanimous, much  higher authorities than myself agree that Lowry’s an All-Star.

Grantland’s Zach Lowe is the don mega of basketball analysis, and he had Lowry listed as a starter.

Toronto fans are clamoring for DeMar DeRozan to make the team, and while he does have a case, Lowry has been the team’s best player — and probably the best all-around point guard in the Eastern Conference this season. He’s taken flight offensively since the Rudy Gay deal, and he’s found a way to reconcile his havoc-creating gambles on defense with Dwane Casey’s larger scheme.

ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh agreed, and he’s about as bright as they come.

If Wednesday was Lowry’s audition for the All-Star Game, he might have been automatically removed from the ballot. He shot the ball 10 times and missed every single one of them. Luckily for him, it wasn’t an audition. It was one horrible game for Lowry, but in the other 40 he has played, he has my vote for the East’s best point guard.

He ranks right up there with John Wall (20.2) and Kyrie Irving (20.1) in PER with a 19.5 rating, but unlike those two, Lowry actually cares about the defensive end. Synergy Sports tracking tells us that he has stepped up for a sum of 50 charges, a huge number that is almost more than entire teams. Of course, the box score doesn’t acknowledge those, but we should acknowledge that Lowry deserves to start the All-Star Game based on merit for his work on both ends of the floor.

While Matt Moore (HPBasketball) disagrees, two of his co-workers from Eye on Basketball support the cause. Fellow facial hair model Zach Harper and the esteemed Royce Young have my back, respectively.

Why have the Raptors been such a nice surprise? Once Rudy Gay was traded, Lowry turned his and the team’s season around by destroying opposing backcourts.

OK, so make it two All-Stars for the Raptors. At this current moment, in terms of impact on the floor, you could make a strong case for Lowry as the top point guard in the East this season. His PER is only slightly behind Irving’s, but considering the defensive end… you know what I mean.

And here’s Young again, after the reserves were revealed:

But Lowry has a strong case as being the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. Lowry’s averaging 16.8 points, 7.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds with a stout PER of 20.43. As the Raptors have made their recent push, he’s upped those numbers to 18.6 points, 8.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds.

Plus, when you consider the kind of bulldog defense he plays on a nightly basis, and the fact he’s the clear heart and soul of the 24-21 Raptors, he had a strong case. And probably is the biggest snub of all.

If you check out ESPN’s 5-on-5 about snubs (man, do I hate that word), four of the respondents listed Lowry as the most glaring omission.

Non-experts also seemed really shocked at Lowry’s exclusion (that is, it doesn’t take an expert to realize the mistake here).
Twitter can be a bit of an echo chamber of sorts, but consider the response this tweet got.

Embarrassingly, that’s my second most retweeted tweet of all time. That matters little, though, except to remind me of my insignificance. Within an hour or two of the announcement, over 200 people who happen to follow me (or someone who RTd it) agreed Lowry got the raw end versus Joe Johnson.

Oh yeah, Joe Johnson.
And here’s the biggest gripe. Lowry didn’t lose out to feel-good-breakout-story-on-the-league’s-best-team Lance Stephenson, which would have at least had an explanation behind it. Instead, he lost out to Joe Freakin’ Johnson who is putting up middling stats at league-average efficiency for a 20-23 team. What in the hell could be the justification here? Maybe Brooklyn “deserves” an All-Star in the eyes of some, but why? And is Joe Johnson the worst seven-time All-Star in league history?

Honestly, someone make the case for me, please. Eye test? Nope. Defense? Nope. Record? Nope. Advanced stats? Hell no. Basic counting stats? Not even then. It is, in a word, ridiculous.

In summation…
Basically, any way you choose to spin it, Lowry belonged on the All-Star team.

Literally any method of player comparison you use shows Lowry as an elite East guard, and most would even point to him being one of the two best, if not the best guard in the conference so far. It doesn’t take a math degree to figure it out and it doesn’t take having played the game to be able to see it on the floor. Lowry deserved an All-Star spot, full stop, period.

So what do we do about it?
Obviously, we riot. We march to New York and burn the league office down and then we face-punch every single Eastern Conference coach.

That, or we do nothing. There’s an argument to be made that this could be a good thing, that it will push Lowry even harder. While he does seem like someone who would keep a chip on his shoulder, it’s also kind of hard to imagine him playing better. He’s in a contract year, he’s always seemed hyper-competitive and he’s been playing out of his mind; whether this slight could push his performance further is unclear.

In any case, it doesn’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. As Lowry himself said earlier Thursday, all that matters to him is that the team is winning, and now he can go away somewhere warm for the break. A five-day vacation doesn’t seem all that bad as a consolation prize.

From a fan perspective, it does kind of suck to have your top player go unrecognized. At the same time, the fact that we’re able to argue for two Raptors to make the team feels like a borderline miracle, and if you suggested as much in September you would have been laughed at. The Lowry snub doesn’t invalidate an impressive first half from the team, it simply serves as a reminder that there’s still work to be done.

Indignation is probably the proper reaction but let’s not harbor on it longer than is necessary.

  • Tinman

    Blake – we know – we know. Big shock – a deserving player gets snubbed for ASG.
    I know it’s only about 12 hours since selection was done, but your info is already old news. Lowry deserved to be chosen, everybody knows.
    I heard Lowry this morning – he’s cool – he’ll be on the beach. And here’s hoping he finishes the season with the biggest FU attitude.
    Talk about DeMar – this 5 year Raptor has worked his ass off for this team and his hard work is paying off.

  • rc

    Disappointed that there’s no “Congratulations DeMar” column. The glass is apparently half empty.

    • 2damkule

      i think that’ll come, but his selection isn’t surprising, and the immediate reaction is lowry being left off. or rather, that an undeserving player was chosen over 3 more highly qualified candidates.

    • The Ass-ass-asinator

      Get used to it, RR is always super biased, and very negative. Especially about Demar, these guys have a thing for Lowry clearly and can’t appreciate or see what others can.

      • Tinman

        untrue – this site has grown and offers several different perspectives. Blake is more a glass half full writer.
        Listen to PHD Steve’s latest podcast and WL recent column – they explain it very clear.

    • Yogi

      Absolutely.

      Congratulations on your 1st ASG Demar!

      It is well-deserved and 100% earned. We have an all star for the first time in 4yrs. While it sucks major cojones that we don’t have 2 all stars when we clearly have to 2 all stars, let’s congratulate Demar and celebrate that we have 3 players repping Toronto at All Star weekend! Jonas, Terrence and Demar. Lowry got snubbed (BIG TIME!). He’s cool. He’ll be on a beach somewhere watching the game in beach trunks and flip flops sippin on a pins colada. Hopefully this pushes him even further to greatness. Once we earn more respect in this league then we’ll be boasting multiple ASG candidates.

    • What the

      @ Nilanka15 and Tim W could Gary Forbes do that [smile] we are even on the root beer Nilanka15…BC and Master P must be proud this Raw kid started at…now he’s here and he’s not done yet.

  • 2damkule

    feels an awful lot like a few years ago, when jose was making a push for AS consideration, and him not being named a reserve was considered a bit of a snub. this feels a bit different, in that a guy who is wholly, completely, unequivocally unqualified was named ahead of AT LEAST 3 more deserving candidates (lowry, lance & afflalo). i’ve tried to come up with a reason for how/why coaches would put JJ in ahead of any of those guys, and they’re all tenuous at best.

    oh well, use it as motivation, rest up, and prep for the 2nd half. they need to hold off the nets & get the division, and maybe he’ll use this as extra-personal motivation to ensure that happens.

  • The Ass-ass-asinator

    This is getting out of hand. Yes, Kyle Lowry should have made it over Joe Johnson 100%. But Raptors Republics needs to get it in their head, this guy’s not better than DeRozan. So, instead of preaching about why he should have made it why don’t you pay respects to the 24 year old all-star that did. I didn’t read anything on here before when Kyle played like a below average point guard all of last season and the first month of this one. Now he gets on a hot streak in a contract year and all of a sudden hes’s better than DeRozan? DeRozan is simply more consistent, more talented and works the hardest on this team. This turn around isn’t just because of Kyle as you all seem to be making it look that way. It’s the improvement of their roster in general, in terms of talent, chemistry and fit. Credits should also go to JV, Amir, Ross and Demar for this turn around. Yeah Lowry’s good but he plays when he wants to, and for most of his career has been an average point guard. So, in short, get ver it and stop saying he’s been the Raptors best player, he and Rudy were out-performed majorly by Demar, and that’s why he’s an all-star.

    • Tinman

      I wouldn’t say he’s not better. Kyle’s been balling last month or two.
      But I totally agree with what you say about the turnaround. It is more than Kyle, who during this stretch has been our best player, the over-all chemistry of the team has been great.
      DeRozan, at times, has shown the ability to carry this team. The team defence has definitely improved, he logs the most minutes, that would make me think his defensive game is coming along as well.

    • DDayLewis

      Honestly, aside from scoring more points, what else is Derozan better than Lowry at?

      • JayTeam

        He’s better at making All Star teams. :)

      • The Ass-ass-asinator

        He is a better player in general. Generally speaking, he is a shooting guard and plays his position better than Kyle Lowry plays the point guard. Obviously both have roles, DeRozan will score more because he is just that, a shooting guard, and Kyle is a point guard, so yes he will get more assists when he handles the ball all the time. Aside from Wade having his reputation, Demar has been the best SG in the east. So what is he better at?
        1. Attitude
        2. Work ethic – hardest working player on the team, one of the hardest workers in the NBA in general
        3. Age – Demar (24), Lowry (27) – DeRozan in 5 years is at a higher level than Lowry, much higher ceiling
        4. Improvement – his steady progress over the years
        5. Size, athleticism, quickness
        6. Mid range game, finishing at the basket
        7. Conistency
        Demar pre Rudy trade: Roughly 20-21 ppg, 4 rbpg, 2.5 apg, Post: 21.8, 4.7 and 3.6
        Kyle pre Rudy trade: Roughly 12 ppg, 6.5 apg, 4rbpg, Post: 16.8 7.6, 4.3
        8. Dealing with double teams – coaches game plan for Demar
        9. Loyalty – wants to play for Toronto, where as Kyle is hesitant to commit
        10. Eye test – visually a more pleasing player, looks much better to the eye
        11. More efficient – although Kyles shooting about a percentage higher this year, his career average is about 41? DeRozan 44?
        12. Generally much better at 50% of the game as you explained youself – Offense
        13. His presence on the team, leadership
        14. Ability to take over games – Brooklyn, Dallas, Philly, Indy
        So yeah, IMO a better player. Lowry’s good don’t get me wrong, but just not as a long term investment

        • 2damkule

          holy sweet f^&k. you really believe all this, don’t you? do you have any actual proof of the mystical bullshit that you’re spouting off on about here? can you PROVE that demar has a better attitude, work ethic, ‘eye test’ (seriously, the f^&k’s that supposed to mean?). LOYALTY? because DD signed an extension when he did (which, at the time, was a significant overpay and is still not seen as a great contract), and lowry didn’t (because you’d know that one was even offered, right?).

          how do you ‘know’ any of this crap, or are they just random words that you think proves some argument that you’re having with yourself?

          he’s better at ‘size, athleticism, quickness,’ and yet is still an inferior defender to lowry, meaning lowry must be even better if he’s able to make up for his physical short-comings?

          ‘presence’ on the team? ‘leadership?’ these are all nice fanciful thoughts, and i’m not saying there might not be a grain of truth to them, but to suggest that lowry isn’t this team’s engine & on-court leader is really a bit of a stretch.

          • The Ass-ass-asinator

            Well when you look at a player, you also look at the person, don’t you?
            Kyles attitude has been well documented, even on here, loyatly is clear because Demar has has always stated he WANTS to play here, not just based on the situation… as he went through 4 years of losing. Yeah, his size and athelticism make him a more talented player, and he may be an inferior defender but he uses those tools on offense. Leadership in terms of going out there and playing hard every game through all the criticism and tough times. May not be as vocal as Lowry but leads by example.
            Feel free to state your opinion on why Lowry may be better. He is an engine, no doubt, but DeRozan is the best player on this team.

            • 2damkule

              agree to disagree, but whatever, POINTS!

              put it this way…lowry goes down today with a season-ending injury, and the raps are a lottery team. derozan goes down, and i think there’d be a drop-off, especially over the long-term, but they’d likely still be a playoff team (esp. this year). and that’s considering that the guy who’d be stepping into lowry’s role would be better than the one stepping into DD’s. just my opinion.

              as for the coaches making a ‘statement’ that DD is better…they also made the statement that joe johnson is better, so you might want to take that with a grain of salt.

          • The Ass-ass-asinator

            And for the record, Kyle deserved to be an all-star too, Joe Johnson did not. The point being made here is that although the writer of the article didn’t criticize Derozan, his piece about Lowry not making it while DeRozan did is kind of an indirect hit. First thing I read was how Lowry didn’t make it, didn’t see anything about DeRozan making it, so just wanted to state my opinion, as well as the coaches, that DeRozan is better and one Raptor is all that can realistically be expected. JJ is another story.

        • DDayLewis

          TL; DR: mythical dragons are stronger than real bears.

          1. Better attitude? You know them personally?

          2. Work ethic? You know them personally?

          3. Age? So…younger means…yes? What? Who cares about upside — the all-star game is supposed to be based on meritocracy at the present moment.

          4. Improvement? This is not the most improved award. It’s based on meritocracy in the present.

          5. Size? So Drummond should make it over both. Athleticism? So Terrence Ross should be in. Quickness? That’s just wrong, Derozan is not quicker than Lowry.

          6. Demar’s mid-range is one of his biggest slights. I wrote about it here: http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2014/01/22/derozans-mid-range-fetish/. Key takeaway: he shoots too much from mid-range, and he doesn’t hit an above average number of them.

          7. Ahh, the arbitrary endpoints game. Perhaps you want to measure consistency with any level of accuracy. Here’s one: basketball-reference computes an overall number called “game score” that reflect the total production of a player. Here are Lowry and Derozan’s standard deviations across game-scores: Derozan — 6.84, Lowry — 7.17. This supports your argument as Lowry’s game is more prone to fluctuations, but just marginally.

          8. Had this statement been “drawing double-teams”, it would be correct. Otherwise I’d argue that Lowry’s superior passing allows him to better contend with double teams, he just doesn’t face as many.

          9. He’s better at loyalty? Why, because Colangelo handed him a big contract? How loyal of Derozan to take that deal. And even if Lowry wanted to resign in Toronto, Masai could be holding out until after the season, or not at all because he wants to trade him. Either way, this is wholly unquantifiable.

          10. What if I say that I like seeing charges taken and huge wing three-pointers over clanked midrange jumpers? Arbitrary once again.

          11. Lowry’s True-shooting percentage (factors in number of free throws, FT%, number of three-pointers, extra point on three-pointers over two-pointers and 3FG%) is 7 percentage points higher than Derozan’s. This is indisputable.

          12. Ahh, so scoring “more points” means he’s better at offense. I guess that means Rudy Gay’s near 20 PPG average here in Toronto meant he was better at offense than Lowry too, right?

          13. Lowry doesn’t provide presence? He doesn’t provide leadership? The answer to this question is you don’t know, and I don’t know, because we’re not beat writers who are in the locker rooms, and even they don’t really know for sure.

          14. Uhh, so Lowry’s game against Orlando, or his game against Philly, or his games against New York and Brooklyn don’t count? What about when he bested Russell Westbrook in their road victory against the Thunder?

          Sorry man, I don’t mean to come off as a jerk, but a lot of your points are either factually incorrect, or factually absent. Lowry was a more deserving all-star than Derozan. IMO both players deserved to a spot on the roster though. It’s nice to see Derozan get recognized.

          • What the

            you tell it tim w jr.cause it ain’t pretty,this guy is a Knicks and Laker fan gtfoh

            • DDayLewis

              Yup! That’s why I write for this site.

              • What the

                you mean like Tim W

      • What the

        i know mr. knicks fan “it ain’t pretty”

        • DDayLewis

          Heyyy! Look who it is! It’s my favorite commentor! How’s it going? Haven’t seen you trolling my comments/articles in a while!

    • 2damkule

      ignore empiricism, embrace truthiness!

      • JayTeam

        Reality doesn’t matter when you live in your own fantasy world

  • jonazzing

    he ll make it next year now! also, I kinda need to know whats your most retweeted tweet now?

  • RaptorFan

    I don’t understand some fans/writers obsession with comparing Demar with Kyle. Look – its not even a debate that DD deserved to be an all-star this year!! Sure, Lowry got snubbed…..it happens. BUT don’t be foolish and try to say Lowry should’ve made it over Demar. Please give credit where credit is due. Congrats Demar!! You deserved it! Hard work pays off! Where’s Tim W.?? I can’t wait for your next piece. :)

    • DDayLewis

      Why is Derozan the better player? Why is it not even a debate?

      • Yogi

        I think the debate should he Joe Johnson over Kyle Lowry. Not two teammates against each other. Demar deserved it!! So did Kyle! Kyle got snubbed, Demar got honored. I’m 100% sure Kyle is not glaring at Demar thinking “that SOB got my all star spot!” No! They’re teammates. We are fans. Lets celebrate our first all star in 4yrs instead of complaining. Go Demar!!

        • JayTeam

          But there is no Joe Johnson/Kyle Lowry debate. At least not by any person on this board, How can there be a debate if everyone agrees?

          • Yogi

            Oh the debate is all over the internet. Surprised at it’s scarcity here.

  • tweed8

    I agree, let’s have a congrats DeMar article. I am disappointed that Kyle didn’t make it as well, but eyes have been on DeMar from day one. When Rudy was supposed to be our “star” DeMar consistently outplayed him and when people said, the Rudy trade would make DeMar’s game fall off, DeMar played even harder. He deserves his spot on the team.
    Kyle is playing exceptional now and he could be the better player out of the two but, we are only now just seeing the signs of that when DeMar has been going hard since day one. If, Kyle wants to be an Allstar, he’ll get there as soon as next year.

    Enough with the “Congrats DeMar but, Kyle deserved it more attitude” take a second to see how insulting that is. Show the man some respect for all the hard work he’s put in. We wanted an allstar and now we have one. Frankly, I see Kyle, JV and TRoss with high allstar potential in the next few years so, let’s hope they remain Raptors.

    As a side note, I am excited to see what Kyle does on the floor with DeMar, now that he’s shown some true high callibre games while DeMar was hurt.

    • Yogi

      “Enough with the “Congrats DeMar but, Kyle deserved it more attitude” take a second to see how insulting that is. Show the man some respect for all the hard work he’s put in. We wanted an allstar and now we have one.”

      Exactly.

      I think all the fans who wanted to trade Demar all these years and thought he was overpaid on his extension and wanted him gone over Gay are upset at this. Let’s congratulate the dude!!

      • 2damkule

        the gist of the article is that lowry deserved it more than joe johnson.

        • Yogi

          Yea, somehow I got caught up in the comment section. Lol. I know articles about Demar are on their way. This is more of a quick reaction to the snub.

  • hateslsoing

    Rediculous article in general. Raptors get their first all-star since Bosh and all you complain about is that it should have been someone else. Demar has the highest usage rate on the team and is the guy drawing doubles every night. Lowry is very very good and fits this team to a tee but I don’t think he deserves this more than Demar. Just be happy we have 3 people going this year: Demar the all-star, Jonas the sophmore, and Ross the dunker. That’s the best we’ve had in years.

    • 2damkule

      i like how you skipped over all the empirical evidence suggesting that lowry is deserving of being an all-star.

  • robertparish00

    Make a big deal about Joe Johnson, but I have a bigger problem with BOTH Wade and Bosh making it. It’s crap 1 team has 3 representatives.

    • Pong

      Well Wade’s in the starting line up so he was voted in by fans (i think). He may not deserve it this year, but there wasn’t much influence from the coaches on this one.

      Bosh as a reserve isn’t a bad choice. He’s on a top team in the east producing good numbers.

      • robertparish00

        I know, nothing you can do about Wade other than invoke a Jeremy Lin type rule. But Bosh could be axed and it would open a spot for someone new that deserves it a little more.

  • GoingBig

    Lowry is better than other Eastern guards but not allowing two Raptors probably won the day. Short-sighted of the coaches choosing. Certainly the very main-stream NBA media has a very shallow view of a team not on their Big8(big-market) radar. Too bad they missed Lowry’s all-star performances.

    DeRozan’s biggest credit is his development of handles, development of post game, awareness of the offence(higher assisting), and the ability to create offence. He was not on a hot streak – he improved all facets of his game. Well deserved.

  • Kyle

    Has anyone else watched Inside the NBA’s reactions to the East reserves? It’s INFURIATING

    Kenny, Shaq and Charles talk Lance Stevenson for 10 minutes, and defend Joe Johnson, and completely waive off Lowry being a snub. Heres the vid http://www.nba.com/video/channels/allstar/2014/01/31/20140130-inside-east-reserves.nba/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt13a

    As a Raptors plan I take the disrespect towards Lowry and the team personally. It’s disgusting

    • 2damkule

      hey, anything that keeps him under-the-radar and maybe (MAYBE) makes him easier to re-sign in the summer can’t be a bad thing. and seriously, these guys? most national media guys are too involved with the BIG teams / stories to bother spending any time on teams like the raps (which is about 60% of the league). any info they do have on those teams is fed to them. i can pretty much guarantee that shaq has watched a total of about 5 minutes of raptor games this year, and each second of those 5 minutes were highlight clips…and he spent the entirety of those 5 minutes making agonizingly un-funny comments that everyone else kinda/sorta awkwardly chuckled along with. basically, like every time he’s on TV.

      someone got me ‘his’ book (written by jackie macmullan) for xmas last year. i think i got a couple chapters into it, and put it away. there may not be a less self-aware persona on the planet.

    • JayTeam

      I never watch Inside the NBA for more than a few minutes. Do you think they’ve watched more than a couple of Raptor games? They’re based in Atlanta. And I’m guessing they’ve never checked (or even heard of) any of the advanced stat sites Blake mentioned in his article. They’re basically glorified fans.

  • Kyle

    This partially sheds light on what coaches think of Lowry. Is this a blessing in disguise that maybe Lowry won’t be as sought after in the off season as we may believe?

  • http://ryanrobinson.ca/ Ryan Robinson

    It’s the Joe Johnson bit I still really don’t get. I could understand the motivation to not have 2 Raptors – more teams represented means more fans have a reason to pay attention to the game, buy the merchandise, etc. But even if you go there, I wouldn’t extend that to say “Joe Johnson just because he plays for a New York team” which is really the only reason I can think of that he would have been ahead of not just Lowry but also Stephenson and Afflalo at guard or some others like Jefferson if both wild cards went to forwards. Any of those guys I would understand beating out Lowry, but Johnson?

  • Bendit

    The snub will push Lowry to play harder??? No thanks. He has already been playing crazy well. And within the confines of a team game. Thats whats infuriating about his non-pick. Trying to prove some people wrong could end up with him forcing things and mentally a waste. He is already playing motivated.

  • Rupert

    This article makes great points and is very true however Demar Derozan a guy raptor fans have seen grow right in front of there eyes has go to be the story. No one thought he would be an all-star and many thought he was overpaid. CONGRATS to demar on showing us what hard work can do!

  • Roarque

    This is part of a plot to keep Kyle’s resigning in Toronto alive. With an all-star check on his resume, Kyle would have been offered 12 M for 4 years and he would have walked. Without the prestige of the all-star nomination, Kyle will only be getting 11.75 M for 4 from Masai and we’ll keep him. Whew! Glad we pulled that off quietly.
    BTW – Kyle needs the rest. The guy is worn out!

  • Roarque

    One other thing. Congrats to DDR on his first all-star gig. Once you’re chosen for the first time in this league, you usually go back until you beg off yourself. See Joe Johnson and Chris Bosh.
    Bad news for Lance – the dude sure deserved it this year.

  • rapierraptor

    On a positive note his snub may actually generate more positive buzz for the Raptors than if he made the team. Congrats Demar and enjoy the MUCH deserved vacation, Kyle. p.s. Great breakdown, Blake.

  • BlakeMurphy

    I just want you all to know you’re ridiculous. I wrote this piece because a deserving player getting skipped over is a bigger story than a deserving player getting voted in. There’s plenty of time (and planned articles) on DeRozan between now and the All-Star game. DeRozan got selected, there’s no need to wash his balls after.

    More annoyingly, I really wish you would all look at who writes something before you complain about the negativity of a piece. Literally 50% of the pieces I write, I get called too negative and always glass half empty. The other 50%? Too positive, too optimistic/homer. It can’t be both. Perhaps when there’s something negative to write about, we take a negative stance and when there’s something good, we take a positive stance?

    • rapierraptor

      It’s Friday, and it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Grab a beer and relax. I love your stuff and this article was no exception.

    • 2damkule

      it’s the internet. people interpret things how they want, and if that means blowing by the main point of an article to focus on the 1% they can be outraged by, then that’s what they’ll do.

    • Pong

      There’s already a certain level of bias against some of the writers here. They fail to see that this article is focusing on the fact that lowry should be in the ASGs AS WELL, and not that Derozan isn’t worthy and shouldn’t be congratulated on it.

      Why shouldn’t we complain about both of our guys not making it in together?

    • Gman

      Great Write. As a dyed-in the wool Raptors fan I needed something to talk me off the ledge over Lowry. You perfectly quantified what we all knew in our hearts.

      And there’s not an ounce of disrespect to Derozan in this piece…but I’m not telling you something you don’t already know.

      Don’t let the fringe element make you neurotic about whether your magnetic needle is too positive or too negative. The team has been so bad for so long that the fan base has gotten twitchier than an electro shock ward in an asylum. A few deep yogic breaths and a shot of Dalwhinnie should do the trick.

    • Yogi

      I was just so happy that Demar made it and checked the site this morning expecting to see something about that. But I pulled it up and the very first thing is complaining about Lowry getting snubbed.

      Fair enough it seems like snubs is always the main topic of discussion in the basketball world. I reread your article, and while I still stand by everything I’ve said in the comments here, your article has not implied that DD is not deserving if his ASG vote in by the coaches. I tend to try and focus on positives. And I’ve been a Demar cheerleader since dude was drafted while all my pals have been calling garbage and demanding for his trade for 2-3yrs now. So that’s where my fan-bias comes from.

      Easy champ. We’re all passionate about the Raps. Good article. You got us all chirpin’ over here. And that whole “wash his balls” comment just about killed me. Lol

    • tweed8

      I actually agree with your write up. My own earlier response was really directed to the few people who felt the need to write, “Kyle deserved it more than DeMar”. I don’t believe that to be true all, they’ve both worked hard and both deserved a spot… Frankly, I agree that Kyle should be in the starting line up. Listening to Shaq call Kyle a “-9″ just made me grind my teeth. He’s clearly not paying attention to this man’s game.
      It’s nice to see a lot of people on the NBA forums agree, Kyle got snubbed… They should have voted for him though.

      I hope he torches Denver tonight!

    • What the

      I can’t for the one form my fav writer at RR to explain how this happen cause I trust RR writers when they tell me no is talking bout DD for Allstar and now this happen what the

      • What the

        i can’t wait

  • MikeDah

    GO DeMar!!!

  • Lupe fiasco

    Demar derozan might be the least paid player in the east asg but people don’t appreciate him and probably still think he’s overpaid

  • Maputo88

    I agree with Blake. KL is more deserving than JJ and even DD. To be a total p****, maybe now is the time to trade DD for Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett to appease Kyrie Irving?

  • Yoshi

    There is always a glaring snub every year. This year it was Lowry and Dragic. The year before it was Curry and before that Aldridge. In each case it added fuel to the fire and that’s not a bad thing if we end up extending Lowry. He will keep it up and with a good showing in the playoffs, the coaches will recognize the omission and correct it. No worries, we all know what we have in Kyle. GO RAPS!

  • ckh26

    You never know what you have till its gone. Song title I know. But it applies to Kyle Lowry. Statistics are great but at times really don’t do justice to the player they are purported to represent.With no Kyle there is no raps rennaissance this year.

    Statistics don’t show the clutch baskets Kyle makes as the other team starts a run to slow the momentum or swing it back to the Raps. Stats don’t show how taking a charge makes the guys on the floor take notice and play 2 inches taller and 20Lbs heavier. Statstic’s don’t show how Kyle makes the olther guys on the floor better players. How do you show the relentless kicking of JV’s butt by Kyle that has made JV a better and tougher player.

    The Raps aren’t on TNT or ESPN a lot but they are on TSN and the S’net. We get to see every game what a great player Lowry has been this year night in and night out. Our gain TNT’s + ESPN’s loss.

    Sometimes you just get it 100% deadass wrong. This is one of those times. When we win the division and whup Brooklyn and Joe Johnson’s ass the empirical evidence of just who the all star is and who isn’t will be there for all to see.

  • Dan Revich

    Unfortunately, the ASG is not a meritocracy, but a democratic selection process. Lowry or Afflalo should have made the team based on statistics, and Johnson shouldn’t have. However, Johnson has the respect of coaches and happens to be the best player on one of the 5 mid tier teams in the east, each of which received one all star nod.

    DeRozan is the top scoring guard in the East and has gotten the attention of fans and coaches. Lowry is an amazing player, but he hasn’t gotten enough attention or created a good enough brand yet to receive a nod. If the Raptors make a showing in the playoffs, he can improve his brand and become an all star next year, hopefully for Toronto.

    If you want a real snub, look at Dragic in Phoenix. Hopefully he gets Kobe’s spot.

  • BlakeMurphy

    DeRozan react: http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2014/01/31/congratulations-demar-derozan-2013-14-nba-star/
    There ya go. Almost as if we don’t post every article all at once because that would be silly.

  • pound4pound

    ICYMI, Statcenter had a chart this morning of every All-Star (and some snubs, incl Lowry) measuring PER vs mpg. I think it’s nice to see how completely undeserving Joe Johnson was in visual form.

    http://statcenter.blogspot.com/2014/01/2014-all-stars-and-snubs-by-per.html

    • 3inthekey

      Nice.

      The only argument that makes sense of this and many other past ASG snub madness goes something like this…guys like Iso-Joe playing in mega markets will always sell more merch! Sorry to all the Lowry’s (Toronto), Lawson’s (Denver), and Cousins’ (Sacramento) out there. The ASG ain’t just about honouring talent, it’s also about capitalizing on the Benjamins (NBA)! Looking at it from this angle makes the dots line up a little easier.

  • Ari Cheskes

    As disappointing as it is that Lowry didn’t get in, there’s an upside. I want him extended with the Raps and this ‘snub’ might give us better leverage in the negotiating process (cost less $’s if he doesn’t have the all-star label attached).

  • Hassan Mehmood Khan

    this once again shows how the league is not run on merit .On merit if you compare the players and look at if the raps deserve two all starts since they are only 24-21, it shouldnt matter because anybody you ask will tell you lowry is better then joe johnson . That is just plain bias against the raps by the rest of the league

  • RobertArchibald

    Great article. But even better, is a comments section completely free of AB4EYE and FREEJV. Gotta love the ban.

  • manmoth

    What drove me crazy was Grant Hill saying he could only think of six players he would pick for reserves in the east and that Lowrys 16-7 “doesn’t get you there”. In spite of the whole TNT panel discussion being about how allstar consideration is about more than stats. F#ck you Grant Hill. Not that Shaq or Chuck or Kenny picked Lowry either, but saying you would rather have nobody than Lowry because he only averages 16-7 is about the dumbest thing I’ve heard an analyst say in a long time.

    http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/01/23/east-reserves-hard-to-spread-around/

    Thanks for the love Chuck.

  • Simon King

    Agree with this article 100%. At this point it’s basically part of the NBA culture to disrespect and screw the Raptors at every opportunity. How often have the Raptors gotten an all-star on a 20-23 team with numbers like Joe Johnson? Pretty sure if that were the case this wouldn’t be the first appearance for DeRozan.

  • KLOEincludingJJbutmaybenotLS

    Not sure if this article by Andrew Unterberger dissecting the erroneous selection of Joe Cool was already linked somewhere, but just incase and better late than never: http://beta.thescore.com/nba/news/421274

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