I missed the festivities this evening on TNT’s NBA Tip-Off, but I can imagine the spirited banter that surrounded the announcement of the 2009 NBA All-Star Reserves. Much to my surprise, most of the selections seem to be warranted.
Here is a look at the reserves…
Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks G-Johnson has slumped as of late but still made the team. Smooth Joe is averaging 22 ppg and six apg and has became the face of the resurgent Hawk franchise.
Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic G-The former St. Joe’s star has piloted the Magic and put up solid numbers, averaging 16 ppg and six apg.
Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics G/F-The Truth hasn’t shot the ball well this year, but is still averaging 18 ppg. He made the team largely because the Celtics deserved at least two All-Stars.
Devin Harris, New Jersey Nets G-Harris has put up huge numbers at times this season, and is averaging 21 ppg and almost 7 apg.
Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers F-The Pacers are awful but Granger is one of the best young players in the NBA. He is dropping nearly 26 ppg this season.
Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic F-Lewis averages 19 and six for the Magic, and also played well defensively this season.
Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors F/C-I didn’t know that Bosh played center, but I guess the coaches think that he does. He is averaging 23 ppg and nine rpg and plays hard every not.
Mo Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers G (Replaces Jameer Nelson)-Mo Money averages more ppg than Jameer and the Cavs deserve more than one representative. He has also played the entire season, while Nelson missed time. You could also make a case for Mo replacing Devin Harris, who has also missed some games with injuries. And because the Nets really suck.
David Lee, New York Knicks F/C (Replaces Rashard Lewis)-I am not trying to hate on the Magic, but I was surprised that Lewis made the team. Chris Bosh is deserving, so Lee would have to replace Lewis. Lee is averaging 16 ppg and nearly 12 rpg while shooting 57 percent from the field. He is bar far the biggest snub this season.
Ray Allen, Boston Celtics G (Replaces Paul Pierce)-Ray Ray has had a wonderful season, averaging 18 ppg while shooting 50 percent. Pierce hasn’t shot well has only slight better all-around numbers than Jesus Shuttlesworth.
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs G-TP has played well, averaging 20 ppg and nearly seven apg.
Chauncey Billups, Denver Nuggets G-B B Billups has given a once fragile team stability and picked up his scoring during Carmelo’s absence.
Brandon Roy, Portland Trail Blazers G-Roy is the best player on a solid Blazers squad and has become a solid all-around player. He averages 22 ppg, five rpg, and five apg.
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks F-Dirk is having an MVP-type season, but the Mavs aren’t going anywhere. You can’t argue with 25 ppg and eight rpg.
David West, New Orleans Hornets F-West is currently hurt and may not play in the All-Star game. He is averaging 20 ppg and seven rpg.
Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers F-Pau is playing with more toughness this season, and is working well with Andrew Bynum.
Shaq, Phoenix Suns C-The Suns are struggling but the Big Aristotle is not to blame. Shaq is averaging 18 ppg and nine rpg in just 30 minutes per game. He is also shooting 62 percent from the line and always has some tricks up his sleeve for the All-Star game.
Al Jefferson, Minnesota Timberwolves F/C (Replacing David West)-I can’t understand why West made the team. He had a better year last season and has modest numbers. The Hornets have a good record but the T’Wolves have played well lately, so Jefferson seemed to be a logical selection. It is hard to argue with the 22 and 10 AJ is putting up.
Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers C (Replacing Shaq or Gasol)-I knew Bynum wouldn’t make the team, but you could make a case that he has had a bigger impact on the Lakers than Gasol. His time will come, especially if he continues to put up huge numbers.