The 2014 NBA All-Star Game reserves for the East and West were announced on TNT's NBA Tip-Off telecast Thursday, Jan. 30, where coaches determined who would fill out the rosters for the upcoming game at New Orleans Arena.
Although it's hard to argue with the evaluations of some of the best basketball minds in the Association, the deep pool of talent left some players snubbed amid the number of surprises.
Folks on Twitter had plenty to say about the squads as they were revealed. Before getting into some of the reactions, here is a look at the reserves for the Western and Eastern Conference teams:
|Backcourt||Chris Paul||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Backcourt||James Harden||Houston Rockets|
|Backcourt||Tony Parker||San Antonio Spurs|
|Backcourt||Damian Lillard||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Frontcourt||Dirk Nowitzki||Dallas Mavericks|
|Frontcourt||LaMarcus Aldridge||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Frontcourt||Dwight Howard||Houston Rockets|
Source: TNT telecast
|Backcourt||John Wall||Washington Wizards|
|Backcourt||Joe Johnson||Brooklyn Nets|
|Backcourt||DeMar DeRozan||Toronto Raptors|
|Frontcourt||Joakim Noah||Chicago Bulls|
|Frontcourt||Chris Bosh||Miami Heat|
|Frontcourt||Roy Hibbert||Indiana Pacers|
|Frontcourt||Paul Millsap||Atlanta Hawks|
Source: TNT telecast
Turner Sports PR's official Twitter account posted the photos of the TNT panel of experts' selections for both sides on Instagram. Check out how they stacked up to the list above:
A consensus was reached: Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson was considered a massive snub, missing out on a bid against the likes of other backcourt players such as the Brooklyn Nets' Joe Johnson and Toronto Raptors first-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan.
Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times and BasketballInsiders.com had his predictions right except for Stevenson, whom he thought was more deserving than slightly surprising Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap:
I had 13 of 14 All-Star reserves with Lance Stephenson over Paul Millsap— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) January 31, 2014
Charles Barkley said on the telecast that he thought Millsap was deserving, and FoxSportsOhio.com's Sam Amico liked Millsap's selection too—though he was disappointed hometown Pelicans prodigy Anthony Davis didn't get a nod:
Given his local ties, Davis could still be an injury replacement player for someone like Kobe Bryant from the Los Angeles Lakers, who won't play despite being named a starter.
But otherwise, there weren't many shockers for the West, which Grantland's Zach Lowe weighed in on:
There are no "snubs" in the West. Just really fantastic players stuck in the wrong conference.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) January 31, 2014
Wow... Thankful— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) January 31, 2014
Alex Kennedy of BasketballInsiders.com was proud of the work Lillard put in to garner this distinguished honor:
You've come a long way, @Dame_Lillard. Proud of you man.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 31, 2014
Aldridge posted his own reaction and felt Lillard belonged on the team with him:
Happy to be going to my 3rd Allstar game. Also congratulations to my lil bro Dame on making his first Allstar game. Much deserved.— Lamarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) January 31, 2014
After 11 consecutive All-Star appearances and a snub last season, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki reclaimed a spot for the West. Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported what Nowitzki had to say about returning to the scene:
“I have been a part of All-Star Weekend every year since I have been in the league and not being there last year felt strange." - D-Nowitzki— Dwain Price (@DwainPrice) January 31, 2014
Staying in the Lone Star State, the San Antonio Spurs won't have the legendary Tim Duncan as an All-Star this time around, but point guard Tony Parker—who is shooting a career-best percentage from three-point range—will make his sixth All-Star appearance.
Check out the history Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News alludes to:
The reaction to the East picks will inevitably be more polarizing given the inferior talent and number of strong teams in the weaker of the two conferences.
One rather unanimous deserving player was Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, who has been instrumental in turning around the outlook in the nation's capital after years of previous frustration and losing.
Wall may have only attended Kentucky for one year, but his former school was proud that he got his first All-Star bid:
Barkley said that Wall would combine with fellow lottery pick Bradley Beal in Washington to form the league's best backcourt in the years to come:
“John Wall and Bradley Beal are going to be the best backcourt in the NBA in the next five years. I love Bradley Beal.” Chuck #InsidetheNBA— TurnerSportsPR (@TurnerSportsPR) January 31, 2014
Here was Wall's personal tribute to his supporters when he learned of the good news:
Although the surprising Raptors were represented with DeRozan—much to the liking of NBA on TNT personality Matt Devlin—Lowe felt point guard Kyle Lowry should have also made the trip to New Orleans over Johnson:
Joe Johnson over Kyle Lowry is a complete joke.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) January 31, 2014
According to sources with knowledge of the voting process, the race between Johnson and Lowry for one of the backcourt slots was the closest, per Yahoo! Sports insider Adrian Wojnarowski:
Brooklyn's Joe Johnson over Toronto's Kyle Lowry was the closest vote among the Eastern coaches, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 31, 2014
Raptors forward Patrick Patterson had Lowry's back:
Comparing Kyle Lowry & Joe Johnson.. Kyle numbers are better & he's on a winning team. So how is he not the obvious choice? #Raptors— Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt) January 31, 2014
Beyond a few detracting perspectives on some of the players, though, this slew of reserves sets the stage for an epic showcase in New Orleans.
The NBA All-Star Game will be played Sunday, Feb. 16, and the coaches did an excellent job for the most part assembling the deepest, best teams possible.