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Tuesday, February 1, 2011
LTSBlog's NBA All-Star Eastern Conference Reserves
Continuing with a post yesterday where LTSBlog gave you our picks for players from the Western Conference most deserving to be All-Star reserves (see here), as promised here are the players who I think should be representing the Eastern Conference's squad out in sunny Los Angeles. We will stick to the same theme and criteria with my selections; statistics, team success, consistency and overall excitement level ((two guards, two forwards, one center and two more of any position):
East Reserves Rajon Rondo, Celtics - 10.4 ppg, 12.6 apg, 2.4 spg
I'm not a huge advocate of "reward the best team with all-stars" because the game is virtually an exhibition. But who better to run the break than the league leader in assists? Rondo may be barely putting up double digits in scoring, but in contrast he has the highest assists per game average since John Stockton in 91-92. That's over 18 years. That's impressive. Rondo also leads the NBA in steals. Go ahead and book that man a ticket to Los Angeles.
Ray Allen, Celtics - 17.2 ppg, 3.1 apg, .454 3pt
Ray Allen has been the model of consistency for the Celtics, who have the East's best record. He's averaged 17+ points every month so far while shooting lights out (50% from the floor, 45% from three and 85% FT). Despite being 35 years of age, Jesus Shuttlesworth definitely still has game (too easy).
Paul Pierce, Celtics - 19.2 ppg, 5 rpg, 3.2 apg
Yes, another player from the Celtics. Hate it or love it, you have to give credit when it's due and the Celtics are playing unbelievable basketball. Pierce leads his team in scoring and is the go-to player in crunch time, even with fellow future HOFers Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett on the floor. Pierce has earned a spot on the all-star team just as much as any of the starters.
Chris Bosh, Heat - 18.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.8 apg
As much heat as Chris Bosh has taken this season for his comments and his reputation of being a "soft" player, he has still put up solid numbers to compliment superstars D. Wade and #6. Also with the front court play in the East lacking he makes this team by default. Just a word of advice for all in Miami Heat; less talk, more production. We know you're good players.
Al Horford, Hawks - 16.2 ppg, 9.8 rpg, .570 fg
Horford doesn't recquire the spotlight. He quietly goes about his business day in and day out, and he also may be the most important piece to the Hawks success. Horford is 5th in the NBA in field goal percentage and despite being labeled as an "undersized" center he holds his own in the post.
Raymond Felton, Knicks - 17.2 ppg, 8.9 apg, 1.9 stls
Besides Derrick Rose and Rondo, no other PG in the East has played as well as Felton throughout the first half of the season. You can argue that Felton's grasp of D'Antoni's offense has been just as key to the Knicks success as teammate Amare Stoudemire. As a testament to how Felton has been, he is averaging career highs in virtually every offensive category and is also second in the East in steals behind Rondo. He deserves to be on the all-star squad.
Danny Granger, Pacers - 21 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.8 apg
Granger is having a bit of a down season by his standards, but he is still putting together a nice 2010-2011 campaign. Although his shooting numbers aren't where we are accustomed to seeing them, Granger is still fully capable of dropping 30 on any given night.
You may notice that the East's squad is lacking in height, but the selections are not made with the premise of match ups with the West. It's about selecting the players that are most deserving of representing their conference. But if I were a betting man my money is on the West in a landslide. Plus I live out in Los Angeles so yes, west coast all day.