With the NBA D-League All Star Game just a couple of short weeks away, the league recently announced the rosters for each team. With the rising amount of NBA involvement within the league, the rosters are as talent-filled as ever and each spot on the team came with a high level of competition.
While the argument can be made for the inclusion of each of the players that were chosen, there are a few players that are initially going to be left out that had a strong case for being selected. While they could eventually end up in the game as replacements, they belonged with the squads that were chosen first.
Jordan Bachynski - Westchester Knicks
A year after bouncing around from Arizona State University to Turkey and then to the D-League, Bachynski has found some much needed stability in his first full season with the Knicks. Currently averaging 13.3 points per game on nearly 60% shooting to go along with 6.7 rebounds and 2 blocks, his numbers don't necessarily jump off of the page but he has still made a large impact on the team that goes beyond the box score.
A Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year during his senior season, Bachynski has been the anchor of a Knicks defense that ranks second in the league in points allowed per game. The roster for the Eastern Conference was loaded in the front court, but Bachynski's impact on both sides of the ball warrants an All-Star nod.
Devin Ebanks - Grand Rapids Drive
Bachynski wasn't the only one hurt by the overflowing talent in the front court on the Eastern Conference roster, as the former Los Angeles Lakers' forward was overlooked despite his strong numbers. Leading the Drive in scoring with 20 points per game and he has chipped in with over 8 rebounds per game, which is 0.4 behind the team lead.
Though he has played primarily at the power forward spot due to the injury to Adonis Thomas, Ebanks has been able to stretch the floor with two three-pointers made per game, a skill that has helped move the Drive from 15th in points per game last year all the way to 8th this year. His versatility both in the post and on the perimeter is incredibly valuable and he has been a driving force behind the team's turnaround season.
Tu Holloway - Texas Legends
With only twelve spots available on the All-Star roster and two of his teammates (Brandon Ashley and Micheal Eric) being selected to the team, this may have been a case of wanting to spread out All-Star spots amongst the different teams within the league. Given Holloway's resume with over 20 points per game to go along with 6.1 assists, his statistics certainly hold up to nearly every other guard selected.
He has some holes in his defensive game that work against him, but offensively he's amongst the most dynamic scorers in the league, with the ability to drive to the lane and finish through contact as well as stretch the defense out with his outside shooting. It has to be nice for the Legends to have two of the twelve players on the All-Star team, but Holloway could easily make a case for deserving to be the third on the team to make it.