Around this time last week, we were ranting aboutthe moronic decision by NBA coaches not to name the Nuggets' Chauncey Billups to the All-Star team
Fortunately, that wrong has been righted. Billups was added to the unit by commissioner David Stern as a replacement for the injured Chris Paul.
Which is great, of course. But it still leaves one giant question: Why was Billups snubbed in the first place?
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Here's how we put it last week:
Billups doesn't rack up big numbers; his stats are solid but not spectacular. Still, as every Nuggets booster knows, the squad wouldn't have its current gaudy record without him. He makes every other player on the court better by controlling the tempo, sensing who's got the hot hand and understanding when he needs to dish and when he must take over from a scoring standpoint -- an approach that leads others to leave their egos in the locker room, too (at least sometimes).
In short, Billups plays the game the right way -- the way coaches preach day in and day out. And yet, rather than rewarding him for his efforts, they leave him on the sidelines in favor of someone like Utah's Deron Williams, who's a genuine talent but not nearly as deserving of recognition this season as Chauncey.
Since then, Billups has only reinforced these words. Carmelo Anthony is still out with an ankle injury that apparently doesn't want to heal, yet the Nuggets keep winning -- with the exception of last night against the Phoenix Suns, when Billups was hampered by a tender ankle of his own. Despite Melo's scoring prowess, Chauncey is absolutely the Nuggets' MVP, and absolutely deserving of an All-Star berth.
The only pity is that he had to wait for it.