Magic leading scorer, Arron Afflalo, not cool enough for all-star team

Although a young Orlando Magic team is struggling to find wins this NBA season, there is definitely a shining light on a last place team in guard Arron Afflalo, even if the rest of the country hasn’t caught on.

Afflalo has seen career highs in nearly every category including steals, assists, rebounds and points this year. His 21.2 points per game ranks 16th in the NBA as of January 6. Despite the increased averages, Afflalo has yet to garner much national attention, especially on all-star ballots.

In his seventh year out of UCLA, the California native, who was traded from the Denver Nuggets to Orlando as part of the 2012 Dwight Howard blockbuster deal is enjoying the freedom given to him this year under head coach Jacque Vaughn.

“From training camp to today he has been our most efficient and consistent player this year,” said Vaughn. “I think he really took a challenge in the offseason of making his game more efficient.”

As of the second All-Star ballot returns on Dec. 26, Afflalo doesn’t even rank in the top ten for the Eastern Conference backcourt. He trails players like Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo, who have missed significant games to injury. He is also behind George Hill and Ray Allen, whose statistics do not compare to Afflalo.

“For one, it’s obvious I’m not one to push for fan votes,” Afflalo told to John Denton of “For me, it’s about team play, winning and it’s about the growth of my game and if I can get the respect of the coaches from that angle, it’s something that I would definitely appreciate.” Afflalo continued on by saying: “I’m not trying to outvote D-Wade and these guys who are constantly in the limelight, I’m more of a basketball purist, I love the game and hopefully that will get appreciated from a different angle.’’

Other coaches in this league have taken notice on the stellar year by Arron. Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin said of Afflalo: ”I think he has had a great year so far. You root for guys to find their way in the league. He’s played all kind of different roles for different teams, and now he’s got a bigger role offensively for this team, and he’s making the most of it.”

Afflalo spent three seasons with the Denver Nuggets before coming to Orlando, and his play was not forgotten by some of the NBA elite.

“He’s been having a fantastic year this year.” said All-Star forward and former teammate Carmelo Anthony. “I’ve known Arron from our time in Denver, and I know the amount of work he put in and it seems like its paying off right now.”

Reigning sixth man of the year J.R Smith said of Afflalo: “Arron has been having a hell of a season. I always knew he was capable of making the types of plays he’s making, and making a run at being such a great player. He just needed the opportunity. I think with Jacque really trusting him to make those kind of plays has allowed him to excel.”

You won’t hear Arron Afflalo complaining or crying to the media for his lack of attention. He just stays on course, and continues to help his team try and win ball games.

“I wont talk about the All-Star stuff, but what I will talk about is- he challenges his teammates, and also has a resolve for himself everyday…after losses, being able to respond and have a practice and playing habit, and I think that has helped him be consistent for us,” said coach Vaughn.