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NBA All-Star Reserves Announced

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Who got in and who got snubbed?

NBA All-Star Reserves Announced

The NBA All-Star reserves were announced on Thursday night (timely, I know), and with all All-Star events, there's never enough room for everyone.  Someone will get "slighted" or "snubbed" at the end of it all, and there will never be a consensus All-Star selection.  With that out of the way, here is the list of reserves selected by the coaches.

Eastern Conference All-Stars: PG Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets; SG Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks; G-F Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers; F Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls; F Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics; PF Chris Bosh, Miami Heat; C Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers.

Western Conference All-Stars: PG Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns; PG Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder; PG Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs; PF Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves; PF Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks; PF LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers; C Marc Gasol.

Notice anything strange about those lists?  No Kevin Garnett.  No Tim Duncan.  No Ray Allen.  No Amar'e Stoudemire.  No Pau Gasol.  I think all of the players selected are deserving of All-Star selections for sure, but you could certainly make cases for players who were left off.  Let's start in the East.

SNUBS: Eastern Conference

Brandon Jennings - Milwaukee has been disappointing this season, and it again revolves around the absence of big man Andrew Bogut.  But Brandon Jennings is having the best season of his young career.  He's averaging 19 points per game and shooting a career-high 43 percent from the field.  He's certainly had his share of no-shows of late, and he's not getting in over D-Will, but he's been playing like an All-Star this year.

Rajon Rondo - Boston's point guard had an incredible start to the season, but then he got hurt.  While his numbers have been gaudy, you can't really make a case for a guy who has missed so much of the shortened season already.

Kyrie Irving - The number-one pick has played up to his potential so far this year.  He's averaging 18 points and nearly six assists per game, and doing it at an uber-efficient rate.  He also has a less than superb Cleveland Cavaliers team in the middle of the playoff hunt.  You can certainly make the case for his inclusion on the list.

Greg Monroe - Detroit's second-year big man has really come into his own this year.  He's averaging 16.4 and 10 a game, but he's doing it for a woeful Pistons team that is 7-20 on the season.  It still doesn't take away from what he's done, and you could make a case for him over a guy like Bosh.  Take a look:

Chris Bosh 2011-12 36.2 7.3 14.5 .507 4.2 5.2 .821 1.3 6.5 7.8 2.0 0.9 0.8 2.2 19.2
Greg Monroe 2011-12 33.0 6.6 12.7 .523 3.1 3.9 .817 3.9 6.1 10.0 2.5 1.5 0.5 2.5 16.4
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 2/10/2012.

Monroe hasn't scored like Bosh, but he has done more rebounding and on the defensive end. It's a tough call.

Tyson Chandler - Maybe the only Knicks player truly deserving of an All-Star selection, Chandler has played a great center all year long for New York.  He's been a rock inside for New York this year, averaging 12 and just under 10 a game while turning the Knicks from defensive slouches to decent on the other end of the court.  Carmelo Anthony was already voted in, so logic says you can't have two players from an under .500 team on the roster.  But Roy Hibbert has made some incredible strides this year, and it's hard to argue his selection.

Monta Ellis - Similar to Brandon Jennings, Ellis is having a career year for Golden State.  His scoring is down, but his overall play is up.  He's averaging a career-high 6.1 assists to go along with his 22 points.  It's hard to include him over the guards on this list, though.  Steve Nash leads the league in assists at 38 years old.  Tony Parker is having another great all-around year.  And Russell Westbrook, though having a similar season, does more than Ellis.  Tough exclusion, but I think it's valid.

Kyle Lowry - The Villanova product has really stepped up for Houston this year.  He's averaging career-highs across the board (14.5 points, 7.7 assists, 5.6 rebounds) and doing it for a competitive Houston team that is devoid of any true "stars".  Only three players are averaging more than 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game this season.  Two of them (LeBron James and Andre Iguodala) are All-Stars.  Lowry is not.

Rudy Gay - The decision to select three point guards for the bench seems odd, especially when you leave out a forward like Rudy Gay.  Memphis' wing man has been terrific this season, averaging nearly 19 and 6 a game.  The only small forward on the West roster is Kevin Durant.  Kobe Bryant could play there if need be, but it's still a curious roster selection.

Pau Gasol - Gasol has turned in yet another fine season for the Lakers, but was left off the roster in favor of his little brother Marc and Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, who started slow and has missed time to injury.  Here's how all three compare:

Marc Gasol 2011-12 26 5.6 11.3 .493 0.0 0.2 .250 3.8 5.1 .737 2.2 8.0 10.2 2.7 1.1 2.2 15.0
Pau Gasol 2011-12 26 6.9 13.6 .508 0.1 0.5 .154 2.8 3.6 .787 2.9 7.3 10.2 3.0 0.5 1.3 16.8
Dirk Nowitzki 2011-12 22 6.6 14.4 .461 0.5 2.6 .211 3.8 4.2 .902 0.6 5.6 6.2 2.3 0.8 0.5 17.6
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 2/10/2012.

It should also be noted that Pau has the higher PER, tFG%, eFG%, and Win Shares of the trio.  He certainly deserves a spot over one of them, and I think his name is Nowitzki.  How fun would it have been to see the Gasols play together in this game?  The answer: SO much fun.

So while there was debate around this year's All-Star reserves, it's hard to fault any of these selections.  You don't want the game to become the college bowl system, where basically every team gets to play in a bowl game.  Either way, this should be another entertaining game for the fans.

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