2013 NBA All Star Reserve Predictions

Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday could both make the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday could both make the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

As the first half of the NBA season comes to a close, we look ahead to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. The annual East-West Clash will take place in Houston, Texas on February, 17th. The votes are in for the starters and the fans have selected the five players from each conference that will carry the honor of starting in the 62nd NBA All-Star Game. The starters for the East include PG Rajon Rondo, SG Dwyane Wade, SF Lebron James, SF Carmelo Anthony, and PF/C Kevin Garnett. The West will be represented by PG Chris Paul, SG Kobe Bryant, SF Kevin Durant, PF Blake Griffin, and C Dwight Howard.

Bryant led all players in votes with 1,591,437 just edging out Lebron James. Bryant’s nod is a record 15th consecutive. Another player making his 15th appearance in the game is Kevin Garnett. The NBA has changed their voting procedure to remove the Center position and to allow fans to simply vote for three frontcourt players. This rule change most likely gave Garnett a bump into the starting five.

There are no major surprises in the starting units but this will be an incredibly interesting year for reserves. The bench players will be named on January, 24th and will be selected by the votes of the 30 head coaches. Here are my choices for who should be the reserves for each team.

West Reserves:

Backcourt: PG Tony Parker (SA), SG James Harden (HOU), PG Russell Westbrook (OKC), SG O.J. Mayo (DAL)

Frontcourt: C/PF Tim Duncan (SA), PF David Lee (GS), PF Zach Randolph (MEM)

There are no stipulations for how many players make up the bench based on position. It is up to the coaches’ discretion who the next seven players are. In my backcourt I decided to go with two point guards and two shooting guards. For me, Parker and Westbrook were locks. First off, you got to like point guards that lead winners. The Thunder and the Spurs are both in the top three in the better conference and their floor generals are widely responsible for that. Both are dynamic scoring threats and Westbrook has become a better floor general this season averaging over eight assists. Harden was also an easy lock. Harden is averaging 26 points per game and is showing his star potential now that he is the top guy and not the sixth man. He will represent Houston well when they host this game. Mayo was my wild-card pick. People seem to forget about the season he is having. He was the best player on the Mavericks with Nowitzki sidelined and he is having a career season. It was a tough choice between Mayo and Jamal Crawford but I had to give the nod to Mayo.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook could reunite as teammates for the Western Conference.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook could reunite as teammates for the Western Conference.

The frontcourt for the West was also not too complicated to put together. Just like his teammate, Tim Duncan is a clear choice for the team. The Spurs are 30-11 and Duncan is still showing his value on the court on a nightly basis. In fact, I would have preferred that Duncan start over Howard. With that said, there is no way that Duncan will not be named as a reserve. The next two players are products of their teams success. Golden State and Memphis are both in the top five in the west and they deserved to be represented. With Stephen Curry injured, the nod has to go to Lee to represent the Warriors. He has been one of the best bigs in the league and is averaging 20 and 10 a night. For the Grizzlies, I was torn between Randolph, Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay but I believe Randolph’s point production mixed with his rebounding prowess makes him the guy.

East Reserves

Backcourt: PG Kyrie Irving (CLE), PG Jrue Holiday (PHI), G/F Paul George (IND)

Frontcourt: SF Paul Pierce (BOS), SF Luol Deng (CHI), PF Chris Bosh (MIA), C Tyson Chandler (NY)

In the east backcourt I decided to go with two young, up-and-coming point guards that are both clearly deserving of All-Star nods. Irving is the lone bright spot on the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving is averaging 23 points per game and was third in votes among guards in the east. Holiday is having a break-out season in Philly with the departure of Andre Iguodala. Also with Andrew Bynum on the shelf, Holiday has been handed the keys to the Sixers offense and he has handled it well. Holiday is averaging 19 points per game and almost nine assists. George receives a nod as well for the fact that he has been the best player on a team that is overachieving as the Pacers are the third best team in the Eastern Conference.

Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler may be fighting over the same All-Star spot.

Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler may be fighting over the same All-Star spot.

The frontcourt in the east is highlighted by Pierce. Although the Celtics are not the team they used to be, Pierce continues to lead them and is still averaging nearly 20 points per game. It was a tough decision between Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler but I went with Chandler mostly due to the success of the Knicks. Their numbers are virtually identical but Chandler shoots a much higher percentage. Either way you go between the two would be fine. I also decided to reward Deng. Most people seem to believe that Noah is the clear cut choice to represent Chicago, but because I went with Chandler over Noah and do not want to have two centers, I’m going to go with Deng. Bosh is a perennial All-Star and there is no other remaining player in the East who deserves it more.

So here are my selections for the All-Star Reserves. Let me know what you think and who you believe I snubbed for an All-Star selection.

 

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