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We know the starters, so who should be the All-Star reserves?

Jan 23, 2014, 8:27 PM EST

Toronto Raptors v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Your job is done fans. You picked the NBA All-Star Game starters. Well done.

Now the job of picking the reserves falls to the NBA’s coaches. Well, really whoever the coaches delegate the job to — an assistant coach, the video coordinator, the equipment manager, someone working the beer concession line — but the coach signs the ballot.

The point of having the coaches vote for the All-Star Game reserves is simple — the fans do things like vote for Kobe Bryant to start (even if he doesn’t want to) instead of more deserving guys like Chris Paul and Damian Lillard. The coaches are there to clean up that mess, they are supposed to have a better handle on who is playing well right now and deserves the All-Star honor. (Their choices will be announced next week, and we can vent then about who got snubbed.)

I’m no coach, but that’s not stopping me — here is who would I choose as reserves (following the format the coaches will, with two backup guards, three reserve frontcourt players, and two wildcards:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

G: John Wall (Washington Wizards)
G: Lance Stephenson (Indiana Pacers)
FC: Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
FC: Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers)
FC: Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)
WC: Arron Afflalo (Orlando Magic)
WC: Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)

Comments: Wall has had a strong season for a Wizards team that may be the third best team in the East (depends on the week). For Stephenson, it’s not just that his game has improved, I’m picking him over a deserving but just short Kyle Lowry of the Raptors because Stephenson is a key playmaker on the best team in the NBA in the first half of the season. In the East, a heavy dose of Miami and Indiana just shows you’re putting the best players on the team. Andre Drummond is one of the rising stars of the game and I don’t want to punish him because just because Piston guards don’t bother to get him touches often enough. He’s a beast and I want to see the game’s young stars on this big stage. Afflalo has had a career best season taking on a big burden in Orlando, he deserves the nod.

The guys I snub are Lowry, DeMar DeRozan (sorry Toronto, a team that also may be the third best team in the East) and Joe Johnson of Brooklyn.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

G: Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
G: James Harden (Houston Rockets)
FC: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trial Blazers)
FC: Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets)
FC: Dirk Nowtizki (Dallas Mavericks)
WC: Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
WC: Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)

Comments: I love that the fans put Kevin Love in as a starter over Howard (a surprise change in the voting in the last couple weeks, Love made up 26,000 votes), and with that I was tempted to leave Howard off completely in favor of DeMarcus Cousins. But I just couldn’t do it. Howard has played well this season and while I wish he’d demand fewer post plays — he breaks up the flow of the Rockets’ offense at times to get them — and embrace the pick-and-roll, he’s been good at both ends and is key to that team’s success this season. To me Davis and Cousins are a virtual toss up, so I gave it to the guy with the game in the city where he plays.

I am assuming Chris Paul is healthy enough to play — he says he wants to be — but if not Tony Parker gets that slot.

Snubs from the West in my picks are Cousins (and it pains me), Goran Dragic, plus Parker and Tim Duncan of the Spurs. Mike Conley of the Grizzlies is close but just misses the cut also. This would be tougher yet if Russell Westbrook were healthy.

  1. biscuitmix - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    What about Paul Millsap?

  2. cfutch - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    How can you leave David Lee off this list? Id pick David Lee over Anthony Davis and Dirk just based on record alone

    • money2long - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      this got a lot of thumbs down, but im not so sure Anthony davis will make the team.

  3. penguins87and71 - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    It doesn’t matter. NBA players are premidonnas compared to NHL players.

  4. asimonetti88 - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Boogie over Howard

  5. tardyman - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    David Lee deserves to be on this list for sure. Though he might be overshadowed by Curry, he’s been the Dubs’ most consistent guy this year and carried them through stretches of games.

    I’d also put DeMarcus over Dwight. Dwight hasn’t shown consistency like he previously did during his peak years, and it almost seems as if he is regressing (FT, post moves)…

    • au1978 - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      His post moves are regressing??? You clearly haven’t been watching the games.

      • tardyman - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        You have to admit that the explosiveness from previous years isn’t there. It prevents him from posting up like before.

  6. moseskkim - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    Where is milsap? He’s gonna make it with or without your mention. He’s been such a solid player. Take afflalo and Drummond out and put milsap and Lowry or derozan. Lowry a little more derserving in my opinion, derozan exciting in an all star setting

  7. sportsnut101 - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    I got cousins in over dirk.

  8. thekingdave - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Props to you Kurt for giving D12 his proper respect given your background as a blogger for Forum Blue and Gold. Unlike your boy Brett Pollakoff, who take petty shots at him all summer like a jilted 15 year old girl.

  9. ruffridin - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Guess you didn’t see Derozen against the Mavs? Or any other DD games this year…

  10. 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    If all PG’s out West were all healthy the whole season how hard who to pick would THAT be!?

  11. 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:24 AM

    IDK how a team sitting at 32-10 and 3rd best in the whole league doesn’t have ONE player get a nod! And I’m sorry, but you CAN NOT ignore David Lee no longer!! Just cause he ain’t a flashy name! MCW (how many games has he missed?) has to get at least a mention (17.5/5.9/6.7).

  12. 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:28 AM

    West

    Parker
    Lee
    Cousins
    Davis
    Harden
    Howard
    Lillard
    Aldridge
    *in no specific order, btw

    Snubs are:
    **CP3, but ONLY because he’s hurt and can’t play anyways**
    Dirk
    Dragic
    Lawson
    I. Thomas
    Thompson
    *IN order

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:32 AM

      Sorry…slide Conley right behind Dirk.

      And just for fun since I’m here, Honorable Mention:
      Duncan
      Gay
      Bledsoe*
      Randolph

  13. 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:41 AM

    This one was a bit tougher, trying to sift through the mediocrity known as the East Coast (hopefully some guys move over from the West to the East next season, specifically PGs).

    East

    DeRozan
    Afflalo
    Wall
    MCW (don’t hate)
    Drummond
    Stephenson

    Aaaaaaand for the final spot was TOUGH, but since Horford is done for the season…
    Al Jefferson.

    Just barely edged out Noah, Milsap, and Lowry. Other honorable mentions:
    Hibbert (get over it)
    Bosh
    K. Walker
    G. Monroe
    T. Young
    B. Lopez *because of injury

    • The Bash Blog - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      “Hibbert (get over it)”

      Uh… you’re leaving off arguably the defensive player of the year, on the best team in the East, and possibly basketball. Their defense is incredible. Like, historically so. And he’s the anchor of that. Leaving Hibbert off is ridiculous. Telling people to get over it, doubly so.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        I knew somebody would get fired up over that. Well this is an All-Star game sir, not a Who Would You Like To Build Your Team With game.

        First and foremost I LOVE Roy Hibbert, as a player and from what I can tell as a person. I love and respect what he does and contributes to the Pacers success and he’s as big a part of that as Paul George to me.

        Its not that I’m not respecting defense and not wanting to send those types of players to the game, just look, I have Lance Stephenson ON the squad. It’s just for me, outside of providing SUPERIOR defense on a nightly basis, he falls off a cliff. He has a hard time scoring consistently and for someone fricken 7”2 he can’t rebound for s-h-eye-t. 7”2 and 7.8 rpg while 6”5 SG Lance Stephenson averages just ONE rebound less at 6.8!

        NO. I don’t respect that and see that as an All-Star. I see him as a guy you want and need to make a championship contending team, like a Tyson Chandler, but like a Tyson Chandler he is NOT worthy of making it ahead of the guys I named above. Sorry.

  14. ryanrockzzz - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    I think it is inevitable 2-3 players get big time snubs this year for the All-Star game. Thank god basketball has such great fans they could select someonve having a great year like Kobe into the starting lineup. At least his absence will open up a spot.

    Out of our posters list- I would scratch off Stephenson and Drummond. Stephenson is coming into his own, but to select his level of play over others on teams with less talent, I think would be putting him in a little prematurely. Drummond has a huge frame, a ton of height, and he’s got skills. Once again though, a little too early for him.

    Just for reference, based purely on statistics and no intangibles brought to the floor, there are lots of equally deserving players. Conference’s obviously dictate, but many players are very close this year.

    Player A – 13.7 PPG/5.2 APG/6.8 RPG/.492 FG% with plus FT%
    Player B- 17.7 PPG/2.9 APG/8.3 RPG/.468% FG%/1 Steal and 1 Block Per Game
    Player C- 20.0 PPG/6.0 APG/3.3 RPG/.462 FG%
    Player D- 19.4 PPG 5.9 APG/3.3 RPG/.494 FG%
    Player E- 17.3PPG/4.9 APG/5.4 RPG/1.4 SPG

    Player A is Stephenson, who everyone is talking up. Player B, Paul Millsap, has had a much more consistent year on a worse team. Player C, Monta Ellis, has emerged once again as a top flight scorer, and has learned how to run the pick and roll game much better with Dirk this year. Player D I feel should be an All-Star, and that’s Goran Dragic. He’s lifted up a supposed lottery team, and has played great since the start of the year. Player E is a good player on a bad team, but has been the equal of someone like Stephenson. That’s Gordaon Heyward.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Oh snap, I forgot all about Monta Ellis. But I’d still leave him off and right behind Dirk in the snub category. There is just too much talent out West, who else would I leave off in his favor?

      It’s funny, I knew who EACH player was off stats alone. I must be the biggest NBA nerd of all-time!

      As for Lance Stephenson, there was an article a while back saying something about if LS is an AS or not. Initially I thought NO. But then I really thought about it, then thought about the other possible players to chose from and for me, incredible perimeter defense while averaging 6.8 reb and 5.2 apg to go with his 13.7 ppg was pretty impressive. In in a weak East he gets in for me.

      You could I guess leave off Drummond, but his #s and excitability factor are too good to leave off for me in favor for someone Milsap, who plays on a team that is very much overachieving. But if anyone should make it off that squad it should be Horford and Horford is done for the year now.

      As for Gordon Hayward, he might make it in the East like Lance Stephenson did, but if LS was on a west coach team then just like Hayward he would not have made it.

    • alphoj - Jan 26, 2014 at 5:35 AM

      I have been saying for years, Monta Ellis (even before the moped accident) has been over looked. He unlike most players have never played on the college level so, things like march madness or NIT or conference play (collegiately) were never experienced. Which is why showcasing his skills against the best in the league at the All-Star venue would give him a more valued appeal and appreciation for other players, not teams. And I believe this event is like spring break for players in the league…an opportunity to chat, mend some sore feelings, get caught up on familial ties, laugh a little with other professionals and enjoy the sport as a fan. I do believe Monta is a kid who wants to be respected by not the stats or the paycheck, but by the basketball professionals. He thrives on doing what he feels is the right thing and having a coach, teammates, fan, family say to him…we love you, keep doing great things young man. He would probably go out there and make it a dash/slash dunk fest.

  15. gameisours - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Ahhh, everytime i count my 7 reserves i see all of those snubs and i start counting again. too bad for the WC.

  16. cjozz22 - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Boogie Cousins is hands down an All-Star….The reasoning for Davis over him because the game is in his City….really??? Not relevant at all. Cousins has been dominant, and yes our record isn’t great but to say the team hasn’t improved would be ignorant. I could see Lee making it based on his team being better and him being constantly overlooked…but Cousins deserves the spot 100%. Personally I would be A Davis in over Howard, Howard has been horribly inconsistent.

  17. justinlpz - Jan 25, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    The fans really shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they’re stupid and will pick people even if they’re injured. NBA fans are so fake these days and it’s just a huge popularity contest. Every Year players who deserve to be picked for the all star game get snubbed because of bums like Roy Hibbert and Tyson Chandler and Lance Stephenson. They all suck, it’s pathetic that Hibbert and Chandler are both over 7 feet tall and can’t even get AT LEAST 10 boards a game smh.

    If I were to pick the NBA all stars for 2014 here would be the reserves.

    West: Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Lamarcus Aldridge , James Harden , Goran Dragic, Dwight Howard , Chris Paul

    East: John Wall , Josh Smith , Andre Drummond, Joakim Noah , MCW, Al Jefferson, Kyle Lowry

  18. kavika6 - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:27 AM

    Spurs get screwed again.

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