2011 NBA All-Star Reserves: The Players They Should Pick

Richard ElkindContributor IFebruary 2, 2011

2011 NBA All-Star Reserves: The Players They Should Pick

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    The NBA will announce the reserves for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday.  There will inevitably be plenty of players getting snubbed, but in a perfect world, these are the players that would be picked by the coaches.  Like the coaches, I have chosen two guards, two forwards, one center and two from any position from each conference.

Rajon Rondo

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    Leading the league in assists per game and second in the league in steals per game behind only Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo has earned a spot.  While shooting under 50 percent on the year on free throws is atrocious for a point guard (or any player), shooting better than 50 percent from the field and piloting the best team in the Eastern Conference's first half more than makes up for it.

    Odds he makes it: 80 percent

Joe Johnson

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    While many have overlooked him, Joe Johnson absolutely deserves a spot as the best and most important player on a winning team.  Oh, and averaging 20-5-4 isn't bad either.  While, it looks like he may ultimately be left off the team, he shouldn't be.

    Odds he makes it: 35 percent

Chris Bosh

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    His coach calls him the most important player on the Miami Heat, and it's hard to argue with the impact he has on his team.  He may be a "fake tough guy," but Chris Bosh's 18.5 and 8.2 deserve to be in LA.

    Odds he makes it: 65 percent

Kevin Garnett

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    The 'Heart & Soul' of the best team in the East, KG's stats may have slipped, but his importance and impact on the game cannot be overlooked.  While his 15 and nine numbers won't wow you, you will find very few who object to his inclusion.

    Odds he makes it: 85 percent

Al Horford

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    Averaging 16-10 is very good, but the real reason Horford gets in is because there are no other centers worth discussing.  The Hawks get their second representative.

    Odds he makes it: 95 percent

Paul Pierce

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    He leads the Celtics in scoring, and he is shooting a better percentage than Ray Allen. Really there is no debate here.

    Odds he makes it: 95 percent

Ray Allen

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    Ultimately this spot came down to Ray Allen and Carlos Boozer (Josh Smith and Raymond Felton got some consideration, but c'mon).  A very strong case can be made for Boozer and he may very well get in, likely over Joe Johnson, but he simply hasn't played in enough games to justify a spot this year.  Ray Allen—all he's doing is shooting his best three-point percentage in his entire career. You read that right.  Four Celtics really?!?!?! 

    Odds he makes it: 55 percent

Deron Williams

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    Is he the best point guard in the NBA?  He's certainly an All-Star, as he is for the Utah Jazz this season.

    Odds he gets in: 75 percent

Manu Ginobili

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    Forty wins, seven losses: That's the Spurs record, and Manu is both their best player and their leading scorer this season.

    Odds he makes it: 95 percent

Dirk Nowitzki

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    Still one of the best, and his importance was highlighted when he missed a few games, and the Mavs went into a tailspin.

    Odds he makes it: 99 percent

Blake Griffin

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    He averages 22 points and almost 13 rebounds a game, oh yeah, and all those incredible plays.  Blake Griffin is the most exciting rookie since LeBron James and he has almost single-handedly started to change the culture for LA's other team.  He's not a gimmick and he deserves a spot.

    Odds he makes it: 45 percent

Pau Gasol

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    He'll most likely start in place of Yao Ming, and he presents the easy choice for the center pick from the West.  The Lakers certainly deserve more than one All-Star, and Pau earns the spot.

    Odds he makes it: 99 percent

Russell Westbrook

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    This is where the picks begin to get extremely tough.  Steve Nash and Tony Parker got serious consideration for this spot, but Westbrook deserves it.  He is the biggest reason the Thunder have made a jump this season and lead their division (Carmelo distracting the Nuggets aside).  Averaging 22.6, 8.5, and 5.2 is incredible too, by the way.  He's taken a huge leap this year and deserves to be rewarded.

    Odds he makes it: 25 percent

Kevin Love

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    The toughest pick to make came down to Kevin Love or Tim Duncan (though Tim Duncan would be picked by Stern as Yao Ming's replacement in my perfect world).  Tim Duncan's numbers are way down this year, as his minutes have dropped, but his team is 40-7, and he is clearly still a vital cog. 

    Kevin Love plays on a losing team, but he is having special year.  Ultimately, his year is too special to pass up.  He had a 30/30 game people and he leads the NBA by two full rebounds per game.  Rebounds are important, Love's in.

    Odds he makes it: 30 percent