2010 NBA All-Star Starters Announced, What About the Reserves?
Phoenix's Steve Nash overtook Houston's Tracy McGrady in the fan voting Thursday to earn the second West All-Star berth at guard. McGrady has played 45 minutes all season, a total Golden State guard Monta Ellis has equaled or exceeded in 23 games this season (sorry, Monta, you still won't be an All-Star).
Alas, Philadelphia guard Allen Iverson was able to hold on to second place and be named an East starter. But Iverson at least has gotten into 19 games this season, and he just might be so humbled by the fans selecting him that he won't complain at all about the All-Stars having to practice before the Feb. 14 game in Dallas.
So only one All-Star position has been pilfered from a much more deserving player. Then again, the chances of the formerly durable Iverson getting hurt between now and All-Star Weekend are very possible. So commissioner David Stern better have his list of possible injury replacements in his jacket pocket.
In the meantime, here's a look at who should be named All-Star reserves when they are announced next Thursday. NBA head coaches must have their ballots in early next week, and they can't vote for players on their own teams.
Coaches must vote for a center, two forwards, two guards and two other players at any position. A coach is permitted to slide a player over to a position he sometimes plays even if he doesn't start there.
The starters in the East are Orlando's Dwight Howard at center, Cleveland's LeBron James and Boston's Kevin Garnett at forward and Miami's Dwayne Wade and Iverson at guard.
The starters in the West are Phoenix's Amar'e Stoudemire at center, Denver's Carmelo Anthony and San Antonio's Tim Duncan at forward and the Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Nash at guard.
So here are your reserves:
David Lee, New York: Sure, the Knicks have a crummy record. But who are the other centers in the East (sorry, Shaq, but your All-Star farewell was last year)? Lee is averaging 19.1 and 11.2 rebounds. He sure picked a good time to sign a one-year contract and become a free agent this summer.
Chris Bosh, Toronto: He's the quiet star from the 2003 draft. While James, Anthony and Wade are full-fledged marquee acts, Bosh should also be. But he's just so low key and he plays in Canada. Nevertheless, it's a fifth straight All-Star Game for Bosh, averaging 24.2 points and 11.2 rebounds.
Paul Pierce, Boston: This guy is a lock. He's Boston's leading scorer. The Celtics have been slumping a bit lately, but don't blame Pierce. He's averaged 20.7 points the past six games to raise his average to 18.7.
Gerald Wallace, Charlotte: Believe it or not, the Bobcats get their first-ever All-Star. Wallace has been the main thrust behind the Charlotte winning nine of its past 10 games to move above .500. He's averaging 18.6 points and 11.3 rebounds. It's crazy Sacramento once let this guy go in the expansion draft.
Joe Johnson, Atlanta: With James, Bosh and Wade getting all the ink, he's the 2010 free agent nobody is talking much about. All Johnson has done is lead the Hawks to a third-place standing in the East, including being ahead of Orlando, last season's East titlist. It would be Johnson's fourth straight All-Star appearance.
Derrick Rose, Chicago: Welcome to All-Star Sunday, Mr. Rose. He participated in the Rookie Challenge last year on Friday and won the Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday. The Bulls have shown some life in the last month since coach Vinny Del Negro was all but fired, and Rose is one reason why.
Rajon Rondo, Boston: This spot might have gone to Cleveland's Mo Williams, but he's out four to six weeks with a sprained left shoulder. But Rondo is the motor making the Celtics go this season. He leads the East with an assists average of 9.6.
Williams might have earned a second straight All-Star berth had he not gotten hurt. Tough timing. Washington forward Antawn Jamison is averaging 22.2 points, but it's the wrong year for the Wizards to have an All-Star given the Gilbert Arenas mess. Boston guard Ray Allen has made nine All-Star Games, but it would be hard for him to complain about sitting home since his 16.0 scoring average is a career low. Sorry, Atlanta forward Josh Smith and Charlotte guard Stephen Jackson, your teams won't get a second All-Star. That also will be the case in Orlando, featuring underachieving Rashard Lewis at forward and Vince Carter at guard.
Pau Gasol, Lakers: They're still moaning in Memphis as Gasol is in line to make his second straight All-Star appearance. In fact, the two-year anniversary of Memphis' Feb. 1, 2008 charitable donation to the Lakers is approaching. Gasol is averaging 17.0 points and 11.2 rebounds, although he has missed 17 games. But Gasol still will be slid over from power forward even though Chris Kaman of the Clippers is the NBA's leading scorer among centers.
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas: The hometown hero got passed over in the final balloting by Duncan to start at forward. Mavericks fans should have done a better job of stuffing the ballot box. Nevertheless, Nowitzki is a no-brainer to make his ninth straight All-Star appearance.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City: Durant is actually giving sports fans in Oklahoma something more to pay attention to now than football recruiting. He's averaging 29.2 points, and has a shot at the scoring title. The Thunder, which has won 11-15 to climb to 24-18, has a shot at the Northwest Division title if the Denver Nuggets keep getting bored in games against mediocre foes.
Zach Randolph, Memphis: Back to the Gasol trade, at least Grizzlies fans aren't moaning as much as they once did. The money Memphis cleared in dealing Gasol was indirectly used to acquire Randolph last June from the Clippers. Randolph isn't as good as Gasol, but he still could join him in the All-Star Game. Randolph, averaging 20.8 points and 11.5 rebounds, has been the force behind the Grizzlies' impressive resurgence.
Chris Paul, New Orleans: It's always refreshing to see a player actually pass in the All-Star Game. Paul has 14 assists in each of the past two games. He leads the NBA with an 11.3 assists average. Other than that one large problem of being stuck on a team that is cutting payroll and going nowhere, life is pretty good for Paul.
Brandon Roy, Portland: The Portland Timbers are a soccer team. "Timber'' is the sound of yet another Trail Blazer being felled this season due to injury. Roy is the latest to get hurt, suffering a hamstring injury Wednesday that will keep him out at least the next two games. But it shouldn't affect the All-Star prospects of Roy, who is doing what he can to keep the banged-up Blazers in playoff position.
Chauncey Billups, Denver: Billups had said All-Star berths by McGrady and Iverson would keep out deserving players. At least McGrady won't take up somebody's spot in the West, and the one saved could belong to Billups. He's averaging a career-best 18.8 points. His importance to the Nuggets was further seen when they recently went 3-5 when he was out with a groin strain.
The toughest omission for both squads is Utah guard Deron Williams, averaging 19.3 points and 9.6 assists. It 's an annual rite that he gets passed over, but Utah's underachieving record doesn't help. Neither does it help for Utah forward Carlos Boozer. If this was a Survivor competition, Ellis, averaging an NBA-best 42.4 minutes in addition to 26.7 points, would be a lock. But nobody's making an All-Star team off the woeful Warriors. For Kaman, averaging 20.4 points, it's just more frustration. Not only was he not even listed on the All-Star ballot, he could find a power forward passing him over at center. As for Memphis forward Rudy Gay, don't press your luck, Grizzlies fans. And Houston fans can count on guard Aaron Brooks one day making an All-Star team.
2010 NBA All-Star Balloting: Final Results
Forwards: LeBron James (Clev) 2,549,693; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 1,978,116; Chris Bosh (Tor) 1,164,007; Paul Pierce (Bos) 525,677; Josh Smith (Atl) 475,671; Andre Iguodala (Phi) 313,827; Danny Granger (Ind) 309,808; Rashard Lewis (Orl) 302,743; Michael Beasley (Mia) 277,400; Hedo Turkoglu (Tor) 213,369.
Guards: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 2,327,550; Allen Iverson (Phi) 1,269,568; Vince Carter (Orl) 1,048,977; Ray Allen (Bos) 710,045; Derrick Rose (Chi) 571,911; Gilbert Arenas (Was) 545,860; Joe Johnson (Atl) 496,255; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 425,590; Jose Calderon (Tor) 292,909; Mike Bibby (Atl) 223,759.
Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 2,360,096; Shaquille O'Neal (Cle) 856,056; Al Horford (Atl) 270,532; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 265,024; Brook Lopez (NJ) 223,246; Andrew Bogut (Mil) 202,072; Jermaine O'Neal (Mia) 159,327; Rasheed Wallace (Bos) 131,084; Brad Miller (Chi) 102,994; Kendrick Perkins (Bos) 90,278.
Forwards: Carmelo Anthony (Den) 2,137,560; Tim Duncan (SA) 1,156,696; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 1,093,005; Pau Gasol (LAL) 1,051,784; Kevin Durant (OKC) 870,567; Trevor Ariza (Hou) 645,937; Luis Scola (Hou) 580,243; Ron Artest (LAL) 368,281; Shawn Marion (Dal) 363,516; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 309,497.
Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 2,456,224; Steve Nash (Pho) 1,222,235; Chris Paul (NO) 1,055,789; Tracy McGrady (Hou) 1,022,492; Aaron Brooks (Hou) 591,930; Jason Kidd (Dal) 523,708; Manu Ginobili (SA) 465,211; Chauncey Billups (Den) 452,983; Tony Parker (SA) 439,536; Brandon Roy (Por) 422,290.
Centers: Amar'e Stoudemire (Pho) 1,824,093; Andrew Bynum (LAL) 981,355; Nene (Den) 364,543; Marc Gasol (Mem) 353,155; Antonio McDyess (SA) 328,717; Al Jefferson (Min) 252,777; Greg Oden (Por) 225,245; Marcus Camby (LAC) 188,240; Emeka Okafor (NO) 182,626; Andris Biedrins (GS) 167,481.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter@christomasson