Updated: March 9, 2006, 7:32 PM ET

Shooting stars left behind

Where's Gilbert Arenas and Michael Redd?

Hey, this list is missing Marcus Camby, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.

The All-Star rosters are out, and two great scorers from the East are not on it. And I expected the latter trio to be on the West team. I disagree with those omissions for the Sunday, Feb. 19 showcase in Houston. I thought those five should have been among those announced Thursday for the midseason game.

Arenas and Redd aren't out of the picture yet. Commissioner David Stern still has one pick to make to fill the spot of injured Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal. Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace made it on the East team. He's the one player not on my original picks whose selection I don't have a problem with. The Pistons are having a dream season.

But Washington guard Arenas is the fourth-leading scorer (28.2 ppg) and HAS to be an All-Star. Arenas puts up huge numbers night in and night out and is one of the toughest individual matchups for any guard in this league defensively. For all that Washington has underachieved, the team is 24-23 and only one-half game out of the fifth seed in the East.

Milwaukee guard Redd's steady offensive onslaught (25 ppg, 45 percent FG) has propelled the Bucks to the current sixth-seed in the East. He is one of the best five shooters in the NBA and is a vastly underrated ball handler and creator.

My initial West choices included Camby, who lost out to Pau Gasol for the center spot. It was either Camby or Mehmet Okur. I gave the nod to Camby, despite missing a large chunk of action due to injury, because he impacts the game (15.2 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 3.0 bpg) in more ways than Okur and his team leads the same division.

And there's no Anthony. 'Melo has had a breakout year in terms of consistency and efficiency. His scoring (25.7 ppg) has peaked because he takes better shots and has been feasting at the free throw line. Putting up these kind of numbers is significant on a first-place team.

The Hornets' standout rookie guard Paul didn't make it. I didn't want to put a rookie on the team when there are other big name guards out there, but I thought the kid simply couldn't be ignored. He should be a unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year (if not, there ought to be an investigation) and is the next truly great point guard in the NBA. Even more impressive, the Hornets are over .500 in February and have a legit shot at the postseason.

The three West picks now ticketed for Houston whom I would have removed are these three: Gasol, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Allen's the world's best shooter, and is still putting up numbers (24.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.4 apg) but he hasn't been able to carry the Sonics above mediocrity. Last season's surprise story (50 wins) has been a major disappointment and that has hurt Allen's chances.

As for Garnett, I chose to leave off a guy averaging 21.8 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.3 bpg, and shooting 54 percent from the field. The forward position in the West is the toughest deal going. The T-Wolves looked listless most of the first half and I thought KG hadn't been dominant enough to beat out 'Melo, Gasol, Dirk, Elton Brand and the Matrix. I was wrong.

Gasol's ability to get 19 and 9 every night without looking as if he is exerting much energy didn't work against him. Maybe it's the fact his team is the most underrated in basketball. Maybe it's the beard. I don't really know. He is too basic for his own good. But he's going to Houston.

Now, just have to wait for the Commish's choice. It should be an entertaining game.

ESPN analyst Tim Legler, who last played in the NBA for the Warriors in 1999-'00, won the AT&T Shootout during the 1996 All-Star Weekend, posting the highest three-round total (65 points) in event history.

• Talk back to The Daily Dime gang

Dimes Past: February 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Striped Star: Dick Bavetta Refs 2,135th Game

Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images
Dick Bavetta, who set the record for most NBA games officiated, reaches out to the Knicks and Nets before Wednesday's game. Nets guard Jason Kidd, right, tied a season low in minutes played (28) thanks to a non-competitive 96-83 win for New Jersey.

Much Respect For Diminutive Canadian

Readers react to Matt Wong's Feb. 9 story lamenting the Knicks' current state:

Matt, I grew up in NYC and live in NJ now (not my first choice). Check out my fan history: 1969-1974: Knick fan 1975-1976: Net fan 1977-1981: Not a fan (party animal years) 1982-2000: Knick fan 2001-2006: Net fan. Check out my fan forecast: 2007-2011: Net fan. 2012-??? : Knick fan?

I'm happy and healthy! No team deserves my undying loyalty. Even employee loyalty went out the window in the 80's. Find a bandwagon and just be ready to jump mid-season.
-- Mike (Montvale, NJ)

Matt Wong should quit his stinking whining about the Knicks. Try being a Cleveland fan for once and see what pain is really like. The Knicks stink right now, and I'm happy to see a New York team struggle. BUT . . . you act like your city hasn't won a championship in any sport since 1964. At least the Knicks have won a championship before, unlike the Cavs.
-- Chris (Cleveland)

Your Knicks/Nets article made my season. Thank You. Stupid Nets! I'm still laughing at that.
-- Mike Gatto

News and Notes

After playing Northwest Division leader Denver on Friday night, Dalals plays nine of its next 10 games at home. ... Wade scored in double figures for the 52nd straight game, a career high. ... The Mavericks have led after the first quarter in 14 straight home games. ... Miami still leads the series 20-19, which includes 16 wins in a row by the Heat from January 1992 through December 1999. The Mavs have won nine of the last 12. -- The Associated Press

Motion: Pistons Rebound
Three straight Ls for the Pistons was out of the question. Tayshaun Prince, whose 11 points early in the fourth quarter helped send Detroit past the L.A. Clippers, 97-87, stepped up as his team snapped a two-game losing streak.

Banks Roll

Joe Murphy/Getty Images
Timberwolves guard Marcus Banks tumbles, and referee Sean Corbin still makes the call. With LeBron at the point, the final call for the game was Cavs 97, Timberwolves 91.

Extreme Behavior

Wednesday's Best
Gilbert Arenas, Wizards guard: The All-Star candidate dropped 45 points on the Warriors in a 129-124 win. Made 23-of-25 free throws, but failed to can any of his five 3-pointer attempts. It was the sixth 40-point game of the season for Arenas, whose team moved over .500 (24-23).


Wednesday's Worst
Ruben Patterson, Blazers guard: Looks like the KobeStopper inadvertantly turned his defensive powers on himself. Missed all five of his field goal attempts, helping make the Blazers' 69-point night possible as Indy won by 32.


Quote of the Day
"We should've been frothing at the mouth, like pit bulls. I so much want to have a team that really, really, really wants to play every day, every night."

-- Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, suggesting his team was likely not giving max effort in an 89-78 loss to the Lakers.

-- Andrew Ayres

See how all 234 who played stacked up

Trade Polls

Should the 76ers trade Allen Iverson?
44.3% Maybe. They should be exploring their options
37.2% No, never
18.5% Yes, as soon as possible

Should the Celtics trade Paul Pierce?
45.6% Maybe. They should be exploring their options
38.8% Yes, as soon as possible
15.6% No, never

Should the Timberwolves trade Kevin Garnett?
44.6% No, never
28.0% Yes, as soon as possible
27.4% Maybe. They should be exploring their options

Total Votes: 29,740

Vote for your trade favorites

Elias Says

The Bobcats have won three straight games for the first time in the 132-game history of the franchise. That's better than Charlotte's previous NBA team. The Hornets didn't fashion their first three-game winning streak until the 158th game in franchise history.

• Elias Sports Bureau | More from Elias Insider

Dime Mailbag: Star Debate

Readers react to Greg Anthony's Feb. 7 story naming his choices for NBA All-Star reserves.

I don't get it. You wax poetic about the great, selfless play of the Pistons, and then turn around and say that one of the great, truly team-oriented superstars of the game, Kevin Garnett, shouldn't be an All-Star? Nothing against guys like Redd or Arenas, but they're just out there shooting. KG's at least still trying to get McHale's trainwreck of a team involved. (And, for the record, he scored 34 in a game this year, but apparently that single point doesn't cut it, huh?)
-- Andy (Portland)

You'd pick Michael Redd as Jermaine O'Neal's replacement? Over Chris Bosh? You're crazy. Bosh is the OBVIOUS replacement for O'Neal at the PF and suggesting Mike Redd for that position is FOOLISH.

The Raptors are a .500 team since the first month of the year and Bosh has been unstoppable (and consistently so), including by Rasheed Wallace, whom Bosh torched for 37 points in Motown (a career high I believe). As of today, Boston has the same record as Toronto and is on a six-game losing streak whereas Toronto is increasingly competitive. I can see Redd being picked over Pierce, but over Bosh and in place of O'Neal? THAT MAKES NO SENSE.
-- Nat Carnegie


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