The NBA All Star reserves were announced on Thursday night, and the Boston Celtics were represented well. The team with the Eastern Conference’s best record will send four players to Los Angeles for the All Star game as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo all make the cut.
The San Antonio Spurs, who hold the league’s best overall record at 40-8, send just two players to the game. Hall of Fame bound forward Tim Duncan gets a nod, while teammate Tony Parker is left out.
All three of the Miami “Heatles” make the roster. Both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were voted starters by the fans, while Chris Bosh was added to the East bench by the coaches.
Clippers rookie sensation Blake Griffin earns a spot on the West roster despite his team’s poor record. Meanwhile, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love will stay home, even with his superior statistics.
Starters: G – Chris Paul, G - Kobe Bryant, F – Carmelo Anthony, F – Kevin Durant, C – Yao Ming
Reserves: G – Manu Ginobili, G – Russell Westbrook, G – Deron Williams, F – Dirk Nowitzki, F – Pau Gasol, F – Blake Griffin, F – Tim Duncan
Starters: G – Derrick Rose, G – Dwyane Wade, F – LeBron James, F – Amar’e Stoudemire, C – Dwight Howard
Reserves: G – Rajon Rondo, G – Ray Allen, G – Joe Johnson, F – Kevin Garnett, F – Paul Pierce, F – Chris Bosh, C – Al Horford
- Love highlights a large group of snubs in the Western Conference. He is averaging a league leading 15.5 rebounds per game. Additionally, he scores over 21 points per game, and shoots nearly 44% from three point range.
- Warriors guard Monta Ellis is sixth in the league in scoring and third in steals, but also plays on a sub .500 team.
- LaMarcus Aldridge has been a rock for the Portland Trail Blazers, and has his team in playoff position without the aid of a healthy Brandon Roy, or any sort of luck at the center spot. Aldridge is averaging 21 points and 9 rebounds per game, to go along with a block and a steal each outing.
- Zach Randolph is another forward having a spectacular year. He leads the surging Memphis Grizzlies in points (20) and rebounds (13.2) per game.
- Randolph’s front court mate Rudy Gay is averaging 20 ppg, 6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.7 spg, and 1.1 bpg. Gay has become one of the most well rounded players in the game.
- Raymond Felton is the Eastern Conference’s biggest snub. The Knicks point guard is averaging 17.1 ppg, and 8.9 apg, and has been nearly as vital as Amar’e Stoudemire in the Knicks return to relevance.
- Other notables: Steve Nash, Luis Scola, Nene, Josh Smith, Carlos Boozer, Lamar Odom, Luol Deng, Danny Granger
Since Yao Ming can’t play due to injury, Commissioner David Stern will have to name his replacement on the roster, meaning one of the Western Conference snubs will get a reprieve. While there are no other centers (at least by listed position) on the West roster, one would have to believe that Kevin Love is the favorite for the final spot. If not, the NBA really needs to reconsider this whole process.