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Thursday, February 3, 2011

2011 NBA All-Star Reserves Announced

Everyone has their opinions on which players are deserving to make the all-star roster (see here and here for my predictions) and every year a case can be made for some players getting the dreaded "snub". The 2010-2011 edition is no different. Earlier today the reserves for the East and West NBA All-Star teams were officially announced by the NBA on TNT. Here are the selections:

Eastern Conference

Kevin Garnett Celtics C
Paul Pierce Celtics SF
Rajon Rando Celtics PG
Ray Allen Celtics SG
Al Horford Hawks C
Joe Johnson Hawks SG
Chris Bosh Heat PF

Western Conference

Manu Ginobili Spurs SG
Tim Duncan Spurs C
Dirk Nowitzki Mavericks PF
Pau Gasol Lakers PF
Deron Williams Jazz PG
Russell Westbrook Thunder PG
Blake Griffin Clippers PF

While almost all players selected were deserving in their own right there are a few glaring omissions that should be pointed out, more so on the West squad than the East. Take for instance Kevin Love, who is averaging over 21 points and close to 15 rebounds but plays for the lowly Timberwolves. You can also make a strong case for Monta Ellis or Eric Gordon who are both averaging over 24 points a game and among the leaders in scoring but don't get nearly the attention from mainstream media they deserve. The same can be said for LaMarcus Aldridge, putting up 21 and 10 a night for the 8th seeded Trailblazers. I can't think of anyone in the East who got a serious snub, except maybe adding Raymond Felton. I just can't come up with a strong enough case to give him a spot over anyone else on the East's roster.

The question is, who would you leave off? My first choice would be Tim Duncan, who clearly got the nod due to team success and his overall popularity and respect from the coaches around the Western Conference. Duncan is averaging career lows in virtually every offensive category and is now the third option on for his team. But the Spurs do have the NBA's best record. Substituting Duncan with Kevin Love would have made sense as Love should be awarded for the great first half he is enjoying. West vote in center Yao Ming will be out, so Love still has a shot at an all-star berth.

They say it's impossible to please everyone. That statement definitely holds true when it comes to all-star spots. Congrats go out to all who made it. You're most likely still going to tune in, if for nothing more than the opportunity to see Blake Griffin smash on Kevin Garnett in Staples.


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