Chris Paul, James Harden headline All-Star Game reserves
Fans voted in the five All-Star game starters from each conference and it largely followed an expected form — with one exception of Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors. Outside the debate about whether Wiggins deserved to make the team, the choices were all players who would be in Cleveland in a little more than two weeks for the game whether they started or came off the bench.
The brutal cuts are always the last couple of reserves — there are more deserving players than spots — and those left to the league’s coaches, who vote to pick the seven reserves from each conference (three frontcourt players, two guards, and two wildcards).
Here are the All-Star reserves.
This is the first All-Star appearance for both Garland and VanVleet.
The biggest snubs from the East are Jrue Holiday of the Bucks, Jarrett Allen of the Cavaliers, LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges of the Hornets, Jaylen Brown of the Celtics, Pascal Siakam of the Raptors and Bradley Beal of the Wizards.
The biggest snubs from the West are Dejounte Murray of the Spurs, Anthony Davis of the Lakers, Brandon Ingram of the Pelicans, Deandre Ayton of the Suns, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Thunder, Desmond Bane of the Grizzlies and Paul Geoge of the Clippers (who only didn’t make the team because he will miss the game due to an elbow injury).
At least one of those West frontcourt players — Davis? — will get put on the team because Green said on the TNT broadcast he is still recovering from back/calf issues and that will keep him out of the game. There will be other replacements as well, with even the two captains, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, potentially sidelined by injuries.
Just as a reminder, the starters for the All-Star Game are:
WEST: Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Andrew Wiggins
EAST: Trae Young, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid
Those players — a starter’s pool and a reserve’s pool — will be drafted onto Team LeBron and Team Durant next week.
The All-Star Game takes place at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland on Feb. 20.