Harden, D'Antoni upset Paul wasn't named All-Star reserve
NBA.com Global on Jan 26, 2018 07:48 AM
FILE - HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets poses for a portrait during the 2017-18 Houston Rockets Media Day on September 22, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Looking purely at numbers, Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul ranks fourth in the NBA with 8.8 assists per game and is in the top 20 in total assists (254), too. By virtue of him having played in 29 games, though, he hasn't met the statistical minimum (yet) -- appearing in 70 percent of a team's games -- to qualify among the league leaders in assists per game.
Paul missed out on that minimum mark due to injuries, which have kept him out of 17 games this season. And although Paul boasts solid scoring numbers (18.8 points per game), too, he was not selected as an All-Star reserve on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). This is the second straight season Paul has not been an All-Star after a run of appearances from 2007-08 to 2015-16. Teammate James Harden, who is an All-Star starter, as well as Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni expressed their displeasure at Paul being passed over after Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) win in Dallas. ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon has more:
"I was amazed that people that should be watching games don't watch the games and see how important a guy is," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He's for all the right things -- gave up space and personal accolades to make the team better. He did that and is still having one of his better years, a career year. It's perplexing."
"Second-best overall record in the NBA, No. 2 in the best conference in the league, [Paul] averages -- what? -- 19 [points] and nine assists. I mean, what are we rewarding?" Harden said after Wednesday's 104-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks. "What are we rewarding? We're winning and he's putting up the numbers. It's no question.
"Obviously, we have a lot of depth on this team, but I'm not out here doing it by myself. He's controlling these games, as well. When I was out, you see the show he was putting on? You see what he's been doing the last couple of games? I don't know what we're rewarding now."
Asked how much winning factored in All-Star selections, D'Antoni said, "Obviously, not enough. Obviously, a lot for Golden State and not much for us. But it's the way it goes. And again, I would be a hypocrite to say that other people haven't been left off. He's just [on] a list of a lot that has been snubbed. I just hate the way it went."
Paul, however, passed on protesting his snub.
"Right now, I'm just focused on trying to make sure our team is playing the right way, build, try to make sure we've got a championship mindset going forward," Paul said. "Just out here hooping."