NBA All-Star Reserves 2013: Biggest Threats off the Bench for Both Teams

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIFebruary 17, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 26:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets walks onto the court during the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Toyota Center on January 26, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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The 2013 NBA All-Star Game is all that remains for All-Star weekend, with the usual East and West matchup bound to provide plenty of entertainment once again.

Guys like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant will no doubt light it up as usual. But it could well be the guys coming off the bench who could prove to be the difference-makers for their respective teams in this year's All-Star game.

Who are the biggest bench threats in this year's game? Read on to find the four All-Star reserves that you definitely have to keep your eyes on in this one.


Eastern Conference Backcourt: Kyrie Irving

After showcasing his skills throughout the All-Star weekend so far, there's little doubting that Kyrie Irving will light it up off the bench in the All-Star game.

The absence of Rajon Rondo means that the East is down a guard, which should up the playing time for Irving in this one. And given his incredible dribbling ability and his ability to drain his shots from anywhere on the court, he'll certainly be a threat here.


Eastern Conference Frontcourt: Paul George

Indiana has excelled in the league this year, and it's been led by the emergence of Paul George as a genuine big-man threat once again in the NBA.

George has averaged 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists so far this season, giving him an overall efficiency rating of plus-19.71 through the year.

He hasn't started a game off the bench for the Pacers all season, however, so expect those numbers to dwindle a little here—even against the lack of defense in the All-Star game.


Western Conference Backcourt: James Harden

Since moving from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets (and from the bench to the starting team), James Harden has absolutely lit up 2013.

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Harden has averaged over 26 points per game for the Rockets this year and has a very solid 5.7 assists per game to match that.

Expect him to come off the bench here and connect well with former teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook once more, lighting up the scoresheet in the process. 


Western Conference Frontcourt: Tim Duncan

Perhaps a little robbed of a starting position in this game, San Antonio Spurs veteran Tim Duncan will once again show his class in the All-Star game.

Duncan practically averages a double-double per game this year, and given how hard he always works on the offensive and defensive glass, he'll certainly be a threat once more here. The big man will thrive with the creativity of Kobe Bryant also, which could make for a few more sweet assists and opportunities than he's had in years gone by.

Expect Duncan to chalk up some big numbers off the bench once more.


Which 2013 reserves do you think are the biggest threats in this year's game?

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