(SportsNetwork.com) - Watching the NBA playoffs from the cozy cushions of my couch this weekend got me thinking.
I usually employ the mind rationally and objectively in an area reserved for privacy, but this time the living room fired the nerve impulses in my brain.
If my eyes are gazed upon LeBron James, Chris Paul or Anthony Davis in high definition, then there must be some NBA players doing the same thing.
The league's postseason tipped off this weekend with exciting finishes, blowouts, close calls and satisfaction from fans around the world. There were also teams that didn't belong in the 16-team playoffs, but that's the way the ball bounces (pun intended).
I'm speaking directly to you Milwaukee, Boston and Brooklyn -- all losers in the opening game of their respective best-of-seven first-round series.
Oklahoma City had 45 wins and missed out on the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. Put the Thunder in the East and they're the sixth seed. Imagine how OKC stud and NBA MVP candidate Russell Westbrook must feel about watching middling teams like the Bucks, Celtics and Nets have a chance to move on to possible greatness.
That's not going to happen, however, because the Bucks will lose to Chicago, Boston's probably going to be swept by Cleveland and the Nets have no chance at unseating top-seeded Atlanta.
Still, Westbrook is one of several stars who deserve to play under the burning spotlight of the NBA playoffs. If I had to construct an All-Star team from the players who have booked vacation plans, Westbrook is running the point.
Below I will pick the rest of my starting five and five reserves from a batch of ballers-turned-spectators for the NBA playoffs.
POINT GUARD - RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Westbrook edged Houston Rockets star James Harden for the scoring title with a 28.1-point average. Harden had 27.4 ppg in the regular season and is leading the Rockets against Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs. Westbrook carried the Thunder all the way to the end of the regular season and made fans temporarily forget about reigning MVP Kevin Durant. How awesome would it have been to see Westbrook check it up with Golden State's Stephen Curry in the Western Conference quarterfinals?
SHOOTING GUARD - KOBE BRYANT: Father Time is undefeated in his career and will soon lay a hand on the shoulders of Bryant, though he is nowhere near retirement and hopes to be back at full strength for the 2015-16 season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Black Mamba appeared in 35 games this season for the lowly Lakers, averaging 22.3 ppg. There's not a snowball's chance in Arizona I would keep this hardwood assassin, future Hall of Famer and five-time champion off the list.
FORWARD - CARMELO ANTHONY: Anthony has one of, if not, the best stroke in the NBA. It's a shame he was limited to half the season due to a nagging knee injury that required surgery and hampered the All-Star during the first half of the season. Anthony, who just beat out Durant, can take over a game just like Bryant and Westbrook, and the New York Knicks hope to land a stud in the upcoming draft to join Anthony. 'Melo makes a boat-load of money and should be making shots in the playoffs. Perhaps in a few years, Anthony will return to the postseason.
POWER FORWARD - MARKIEFF MORRIS: A somewhat surprise pick to the starting five, Morris has a bright future with the Phoenix Suns and proved his durability by playing in all 82 games this season. Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly would love Morris as a tight end or wide receiver because of his availability, which the innovative Kelly believes in strongly. Morris averaged 16.4 points over the last 17 games and came up short in getting the Suns back into the playoffs. Next season should be different.
CENTER - DEMARCUS COUSINS: Cousins made his first All-Star team in 2014-15 and was tied for third in the NBA with 47 double-doubles in 59 games. The Big Cuz was hampered by injuries throughout the season for a Sacramento team good enough to make a playoff run. Now that coach George Karl gets a full offseason with the team, perhaps Cousins will have his bad-boy image on the big stage. The Kings were 6-17 without Cousins, who had consecutive triple-doubles in early April and seems to have turned the corner from his immature ways. Still, Cousins is one of the best big men in the game, playoffs or not.
POINT GUARD - BRANDON KNIGHT: A fringe All-Star for the Eastern Conference, the Bucks opted to send Knight to the Suns in February and got Michael Carter- Williams and others as part of the deal. Knight runs the point much better than MCW, who's more of a No. 2 guard instead of a natural point guard. Knight spelling Westbrook on this All-Star team is a drop-off, but not a major one.
GUARD - DWYANE WADE: Wade is not used to playing the spectator role this time of year, especially after reaching the NBA Finals in each of the previous four seasons. The Heat were third in the Southeast Division and Wade finished 10 points short from tying Isiah Thomas (18,822) for 53rd on the all-time scoring list. Wade is always dangerous in the clutch, especially when healthy, and finished third in fourth-quarter scoring (6.92 ppg) behind Westbrook and James.
FORWARD - PAUL GEORGE: George made his 2014-15 debut right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, but it wasn't enough to bring the Indiana Pacers back to the postseason. George, of course, took several months to recover from a gruesome broken leg suffered with Team USA last summer and his absence at the start of the season put Indiana in an uphill climb. The Pacers were lost without their rising star, but there's always next year.
POWER FORWARD - GREG MONROE: Are Monroe's days with the Detroit Pistons over? Maybe, but the next team to get his services will be a delighted one if the Pistons fail to keep the coveted power forward. I know I'm pleased with Monroe coming off my bench. The Pistons and Monroe were unable to strike a new deal last summer. Monroe played 69 games in 2014-15 and averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds. Detroit should consider keeping Monroe and center Andre Drummond together for the long haul.
CENTER - NIKOLA VUCEVIC: Backup center was a tough one to pick, narrowing it down to Vucevic, Drummond or Chris Bosh. Vucevic boxes out Drummond for the spot and averaged 19.3 points and 10.9 rebounds. Former NBA coach and fantastic analyst Doug Collins made a mistake letting Vucevic get away from Philly and still says he needs a more powerful man in the middle to play alongside. I disagree. Vucevic has Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris to feed him the ball and rookie Elfrid Payton has potential. The Magic could make a run toward the postseason in 2015-16 and it starts in the middle.
HONORABLE MENTION: Durant, Drummond, Bosh, Gordon Hayward, Kemba Walker, Serge Ibaka, Kevin Garnett, Andrew Wiggins and Al Jefferson.