SLAM PH All-Star Picks: Eye Test vs. Advanced Stats All-Stars

The NBA is changing up how All-Star Teams will be selected this year. Instead of the usual East versus West match-up, the two top vote-getters from each conference will be named Team Captains. These Team Captains will then be able to select players on their team, regardless of conference.

Because of that new wrinkle, the possibilities are now limitless! That’s why at SLAM PH, we decided to make the All-Star Teams as crazy as possible. No one knows whats going to happen when the teams are announced, so here are some fun options to think about. Who knows, we might actually see some of these teams this year.

NBA Twitter has been one of the best blessings this world has received ever since the turn of the millennium. It’s the very reason why you can make an argument (is it even an argument at this point?) the NBA is the very best league in the earth (that is not flat by the way, sorry Kyrie). It’s not just a bunch of big dudes putting the ball in the basket anymore. There are fans involved throughout this ecosystem, and it’s an absolute beauty when it’s at its peak.

However, despite that seemingly close bond inside this world that is NBA Twitter, there are still numerous debates which are held in this sphere. There’s Curry versus Durant, Westbrook versus Durant, NBA Twitter versus Durant burner accounts, so and so forth. But, arguably the most notable friction has been the debates that have occurred between Advanced Stats Twitter, and Eye Test Twitter.

The NBA, for all of its fun with its memes, vines and even pop culture references, is still a basketball league at the very core. There are players who play in particular ways, and fans relentlessly critique what they do. There are various ways of doing so, and Advanced Stats Twitter and Eye Test Twitter epitomizes that.

Advanced Stats Twitter is stereotypically a group of fans who primarily use statistics and metrics when analyzing players. On the other hand, Eye Test Twitter primarily uses their eyes *ba dum tss* and their supposed “basketball knowledge” when it comes to studying these athletes.

In an ideal world, there is nothing wrong with both. In fact, writers today are encouraged to use not just one of those two tools (statistics and clips) when creating pieces. Analysts are instead taught to use BOTH of these tools to create a meaningful analysis. But, NBA Twitter is not here for idealism. NBA Twitter is here for the madness.

So, let’s have some of that. Time to pit the Advanced Stats guys versus the Eye Test dudes. First off, some ground rules.

  1. We’ll be dividing the teams into two groups namely, Team Jokic to represent Advanced Stats Twitter, and Team Westbrook to represent Eye Test Twitter. I can already see Westbrook stans rolling their eyes as I classify Westbrook as an Eye Test guy despite his superior Advanced Stats. That’s understandable, but, we all know at the very core, Westbrook is more Eye Test than Advanced Stats. Jokic on the other hand, is mostly Advanced Stats.
  2. I won’t be picking some obvious choices for Team Jokic. Yeah, Durant and Curry have ridiculous statistics, but picking players of that caliber is no fun. WE WANT MADNESS!
  3. Instead of explaining why these players were chosen for their respective teams, we’ll instead discuss their weaknesses in relation to the opposing team. For instance. Let’s say I choose Kevin Durant for Team Advanced Stats (I won’t, read #2, this is just an example). My explanation for KD is how he isn’t built like your protypical forward (muscular, strong etc.). You get my drift?
  4. By no means are these the best choices for both teams. That is for sure. We’re trying our best to get the most fun choices.
  5. Let’s have some fun with this!

Let the madness begin.

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors

TEAM JOKIC (Advanced Stats Twitter)

PG: Tyus Jones, Minnesota Timberwolves (He’s small, doesn’t look like he can defend anyone)

SG: Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets (What kind of a name is Dinwiddie? He’s also not built too well, but what kind of a name is Dinwiddie? I can’t stop saying it)

SF: Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers (Andrew Wiggins better)

PF: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (He moves so awkwardly and doesn’t have the grace of Joel Embiid or Karl-Anthony Towns)

C: Clint Capela, Houston Rockets (He just gets lobs, and he isn’t as exciting as that other dude in the Clippers)

Russell Westbrook, Ben Simmons

TEAM WESTBROOK (Eye Test Twitter)

PG: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (He’s an overrated defender)

SG: Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (Shot-chucker, best player on a bad team)

SF: Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves (Robert Covington better)

PF: Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City Thunder (Olympic Melo? NOPE he old and can’t hit anything, plus he don’t play defense)

C: Dwight Howard, Charlotte Hornets (As per Basketball Reference, he’s averaging his worst Net Rating for his entire career this year. So much for having a resurgence)

How Advanced Stats Twitter thinks the game will end up

Most likely Team Westbrook leads to start off. They’re a talented bunch. But, with the smarts, intelligence and efficiency of Team Jokic, the Joker and his crew will find a way to make things tight up until the start of the fourth quarter.

Ah, the clutch! This is where Team Jokic will shine. Westbrook and Anthony will have a toss-up over who gets the last shot. Dwight complains he isn’t being utilized well. Wiggins continues to have zero motor. Booker can’t try to get 70 since he doesn’t even have the ball. Jokic and crew take advantage, BAM! Game over.

Phoenix Suns v Brooklyn Nets

How Eye Test Twitter thinks the game will end up

Come on, this is too easy! Capela and Covington are athletic, but Jones and Dinwiddie are going to be BBQ Chicken with the athletic ability of Russ and the scoring prowess of DBook. Plus, Clint and Jokic in one team? Dwight and Melo are going to FEAST. TOO. EASY.

This is going to be a blowout. Too easy man. Team Westbrook is way too athletic, way too talented. These Jokic guys are done for.


How the game will probably end up

It would be a pretty interesting encounter. Team Jokic will rely a lot on good passing and movement with Jokic as your main guy in the pinch post, while Team Westbrook will use their athleticism a lot. I wouldn’t exactly count on Team Westbrook to move the ball Golden State/San Antonio style, but the movement won’t be as bad as people expect it to be.

The game probably goes down the wire, with Westbrook leading his team’s possessions, while Jokic’s team tries to establish him in the post to create plays. Everyone knows that’s what both teams would do, so this will boil down to how good the second guy of both teams respond in the situations they’re placed in. I’d give the nod to Booker for Team Westbrook, while Dinwiddie is your guy for Team Jokic.

Dinwiddie has some creative flash to him to maybe create a lob play for Capela, but I’m taking my chances with Devin Booker for this one. If he can score 70 points with a pack of peanuts as his supporting cast, then he will surely flourish beside talented individuals like Russ.

Buzzer beater by DBook for the win, madness in NBA Twitter ensues.

FINAL: Team Westbrook def. Team Jokic 119-117

Photos from Getty Images

READ: SLAM PH All-Star Picks


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