When Kevin Durant shows up for the NBA All-Star Game, he'll find a familiar face on the bench—head coach Scott Brooks.
With the Portland Trail Blazers loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 28, Brooks' Oklahoma City Thunder have locked up the best record in the Western Conference through the All-Star break, meaning he'll be manning the bench once again for the West.
The Blazers’ loss to the Grizzlies officially locks Scott Brooks in as the West All-Star coach, NBA announces in a press release.— Sean Highkin (@highkin) January 29, 2014
Beyond Durant, there figures to be some other familiar faces for the OKC coach. That's because it's the second time in the last three years that Brooks has earned the honor.
The NBA All-Star Game switched its format this season. Instead of having a player from the five traditional positions in the starting lineup, the league switched it to include two backcourt players and two frontcourt players.
Slated to start for the West is OKC's Durant, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Also voted in as a starter by the fan voting is Kobe Bryant, but the Lakers star won't be playing in the game.
A potential replacement for Bryant is another player Brooks knows well, James Harden. The shooting guard played the first three years of his career in Oklahoma City before being traded to the Houston Rockets prior to the 2012-13 season.
The Eastern Conference provides a formidable lineup comprised of the Miami Heat's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks and Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Western Conference has won the last three All-Star Games, including a 143-138 victory last season, and will be looking to extend the streak to four in New Orleans. And while the reserves may not be known yet, at least the West knows there will once again be a familiar face holding the clipboard.
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