In most years, who makes the All-Star Game as a reserve is more or less determined before the voting is even complete. This year there's more uncertainty, particularly in the frontcourts.
With the backcourts, there is a little to a lot more certainty. In the Eastern Conference, although they play for losing teams, the performances of Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday rises so far above the rest that they are easy fits and generally regarded as shoo-ins.
In the Western Conference, it would be virtually criminal to fail to include former teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden. That takes care of the West backcourt.
In both conferences the frontcourt is extremely tight.
In fact, there are no easy picks in the East. The fourth-best frontcourt player in one person's opinion might not even deserve the nod in another's.
That, coupled with the fact that it's hard to say that other backcourt players are clearly deserving, could see the five remaining slots filled by frontcourt players, with a versatile small forward taking the second wild-card slot.
In the East, it's just too hard to imagine that Chris Bosh won't get in and take up one of those spots. Being one of the Big Three that won the NBA title, he'll make it. In the West, likewise, it's impossible not to include Tim Duncan.
That leaves just three slots for more than three deserving players in the West and just four spots in the East up for grabs.
The following players are the ones who are on the bubble. Each has some merit to get in, but each may be left off. Play is just one aspect of the selections. Other aspects enter in, too. In fact, the politics of things might be the difference here.