The NBA will name the All-Star Game reserves today; but first our picks

 

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The NBA revealed the 10 starters for the All-Star Game a week ago and today the league will fill out the rosters by naming seven reserves from each side.

Our Miami Heat beat writers, Anthony Chiang and Tom D’Angelo gave you their picks for the starters a week ago and now they list the seven players from each conference who they believe should round out the rosters for the Feb. 19 game in New Orleans.

First here are the starters as voted in by a combination of the fans, players and media:

Eastern Conference – Guards: DeMar DeRozan, Raptors; Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers. Frontcourt: LeBron James, Cavaliers; Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks; Jimmy Butler, Bulls.

Western Conference – Guards: Stephen Curry, Warriors; James Harden Rockets. Forwards: Kawhi Leonard, Spurs; Kevin Durant, Warriors; Anthony Davis, Pelicans.

Tom’s All-Star reserves …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Isaiah Thomas, Celtics guard: The biggest snub among the starters in the East, Thomas is second in the league in scoring and on an amazing run averaging 34.2 ppg and on 40 percent  shooting his last 11 games. Oh, and he is 5-9. This is a no-brainer.

Kyle Lowry, Raptors guard: Another easy choice. Although DeRozan leads Toronto in scoring, he takes more than six more shots per game than Lowry. And Lowry leads in assists and steals.

John Wall, Wizards guard: Wall has been an All-Star the last three years and he is having his best season with career highs in points (23.1) and steals while still averaging around 10 assists.

Kemba Walker, Hornets guard: Walker is having his breakout year with 23 points per game and he has the Hornets once again in playoff contention. He deserves to finally break through and be an All-Star.

Kevin Love, Cavaliers frontcourt: Love was not chosen his first two years in Cleveland, but understandably as it took time for him to get comfortable. But his numbers are on the rise this year and he is one of five players averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Paul George, Pacers frontcourt:  The Pacers have been a disappointment but George continues to thrive in the second stage of his NBA career since returning from his broken leg. He is one of four players averaging at least 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.5 steals.

Joel Embid, 76ers frontcourt: The toughest choice with the Hawks’ Paul Millsap and Miami’s Hassan Whiteside in the mix. But Embid has been a great comeback story and is carrying the 76ers up the standings lately. He is on the verge of becoming a true star.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Russell Westbrook, Thunder guard: This pick requires no explanation. The man averaging a triple-double and having one of the transcendental seasons of all time should be a starter.

Klay Thompson, Warriors guard: Thompson had a rough start trying to figure out out his role with Kevin Durant in the mix but he has adapted nicely and now is back to the player he has been the last two years starting with a 60-point game in early December.

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers guard: Lillard was snubbed last year and responded by having a great second half. He is averaging 26 points and six assists. Don’t let it happen again.

DeMarcus Cousins Kings frontcourt: One of the game’s more puzzling players. Cousins has all the talent in the world but continually shows his immaturity. Still, he and Anthony Davis are the only two averaging at least 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies frontcourt: In his ninth NBA season, Gasol is thriving under first-year coach David Fizdale. He is averaging more than 20 points per game while grabbing about six rebounds and Memphis firmly is in the playoff picture, bunched in that fifth through seventh spot.

Gordon Hayward, Jazz frontcourt: Hayward is having a breakout season and is going to cash in this summer with a mega-bucks contract. But first he’s in line to make his first All-Star game. He will have competition for one of the frontcourt spots from teammate Rudy Gobert.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves frontcourt: My toughest pick in the West with Gobert and the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan also deserving. But Towns is a double-double machine, trailing only Harden and Westbrook, and should start a long-run of being selected to the All-Star Game.

Anthony’s All-Star reserves …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

John Wall, Wizards guard: Washington has won nine of its past 11 games and is currently in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. Wall is a big reason for the Wizards’ success this season, averaging a career-high 23.1 points on a career-best 46.4 percent shooting.

Isaiah Thomas, Celtics guard: Many believe Thomas should have been voted into the All-Star game as a starter. The 5-foot-9 Thomas is having a career season, leading the Eastern Conference in scoring with 28.9 points per game.

Kyle Lowry, Raptors guard: Among all NBA guards averaging 20 or more points per game, Lowry ranks sixth in field goal percentage at 46.7 percent. The 30-year-old is also shooting a career-best 42.2 percent from 3-point range.

Paul George, Pacers frontcourt: George is one of four players in the NBA averaging 20 or more points on 45 percent or better shooting from the field, 38 percent or better shooting from 3-point land, and 90 percent or better shooting from the free throw line.

Kevin Love, Cavaliers frontcourt: This is Love’s best season in a Cavaliers uniform, as he’s averaging 20.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Love hasn’t finished a season averaging a double-double since his final season with Minnesota in 2013-14.

Hassan Whiteside, Heat frontcourt: I know Miami is near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but it’s hard to ignore the season Whiteside is having. The Heat’s $98 million center is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Paul Millsap, Hawks frontcourt: Atlanta is currently the fourth-best team, record-wise, in the Eastern Conference and Millsap is leading the way. He’s averaging a team-high 17.9 points to go with 8.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists this season.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Russell Westbrook, Thunder guard: It’s pretty amazing that Westbrook was not voted in as a starter. He’s averaging a triple-double. A TRIPLE-DOUBLE! On top of averaging a triple-double, he leads the NBA with 30.8 points per game.

Klay Thompson, Warriors guard: Even with the addition of Kevin Durant, Thompson has still found a way to be super productive. He’s averaging 21.1 points and shooting 39.9 percent from 3-point range, while also serving as one of the most reliable perimeter defenders on Golden State’s roster.

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers guard: The 26-year-old is putting together the best season of his NBA career, averaging a career-high 26.2 points on a career-best 44.5 percent shooting. He’s already scored 30 or more points in 14 games this season.

Gordon Hayward, Jazz frontcourt: Hayward’s career season paired with the Jazz’s success should get him into the All-Star game. The 26-year-old is averaging a career-high 21.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting and 39.9 percent from three.

DeMarcus Cousins, Kings frontcourt: Cousins is averaging a career-high 28 points on 45.2 percent shooting from the field and 37.4 percent shooting from 3-point land to go with 10.3 rebounds this season. Yes, he can be an issue off the court at times, but he’s an All-Star on the court.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves frontcourt: At 21 years old, it’s amazing how good Towns is already. He’s averaging 22.4 points, 11.9 rebounds and three assists per game in his second NBA season. Get this man to the All-Star game.

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies frontcourt: Gasol has already earned two All-Star Game appearances over his NBA career. He should get his third trip this season, as he’s averaging a career-high 20.1 points and 4.2 assists per game.

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