LOOK: 2018 NBA All-Star Game reserves revealed

NBA.com Global on Jan 24, 2018 08:20 AM
LOOK: 2018 NBA All-Star Game reserves revealed
2018 NBA All-Star Game logo

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com

Four first-timers and a host of familiar All-Star faces highlight the reserves for the 67th All-Star Game.

New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Washington’s Bradley Beal from the Eastern Conference and Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns from the Western Conference are the All-Star rookies among the 14 players chosen by the league’s 30 head coaches for the game that will be played Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Joining Porzingis, Oladipo and Beal as reserves from the Eastern Conference are Boston’s Al Horford, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Beal’s Washington backcourt mate John Wall.

Towns joins a seasoned group of All-Stars from the West, led by San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, his Timberwolves teammate Jimmy Butler, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, Portland’s Damian Lillard and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.

The starters from both the Eastern and Western Conferences were announced last week.

Captain and leading overall vote-getter LeBron James headlines the East, with Boston’s Kyrie Irving, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid rounding out the group.

Fellow captain Stephen Curry led the vote-getters from the Western Conference and is joined as a starter from the West by his Golden State Warriors teammate Kevin Durant, Houston’s James Harden and New Orleans teammates Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.

James has first pick in the All-Star Draft, which is being held Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), the results of which will be revealed Thursday (Wednesday, PHL time) during a one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off. In addition, the Nike uniforms worn by Team LeBron and Team Stephen will also be revealed on TNT.

James has first pick from the pool of eight starters while Curry will go first when picking from the pool of 14 reserves.

Porzingis kicked off his season with a bang, averaging 30 points through the first 10 games of the season and is posting career bests in points (23.3), blocks (2.3) and 3-point shooting (.387) in just his third season.

Oladipo has been arguably the biggest surprise of the season, going from a role player last season in Oklahoma City to a bona fide star in his first season with the Pacers. He’s managed career-highs in points (24.2) and rebounds (5.2) in addition to shooting it better by far (.484 from the floor, .402 from deep) than he has in his previous four seasons.

Beal, who missed the cut last season, finally joins Wall on the All-Star team in his sixth season. He leads the Wizards in scoring (23.6) and is also averaging career-highs in rebounds (4.3) and assists (3.7).

Those East rookie All-Star reserves join a group that owns a combined 19 All-Star appearances among them.

Horford, a five-time All-Star, has been a rock for a Celtics team that sits atop the Eastern Conference standings and has for weeks during a season that saw them lose prized free agent acquisition Gordon Hayward for the season just minutes into the season opener.

Love, also making his fifth All-Star appearance, is playing out of position at center and leading the Cavaliers in rebounds while shooting 40 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

Lowry earned his fourth straight All-Star nod, teaming with DeRozan in the backcourt for a Raptors team with a revamped offense that is just two games behind the Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings.

Wall, making his fifth straight All-Star appearance, has been limited to 36 games due to injury but is still averaging 19.3 points and 9.2 assists for a Wizards team that sits fifth in the East playoff chase.

Towns is a franchise pillar for a Timberwolves team that has surged to third in the Western Conference standings behind the one-two punch that he and Butler, a four-time All-Star, have provided.

Towns is shooting the best he ever has from deep (.412), while still averaging a double-double (20 points, 12.1 rebounds) for a third straight season. Butler, meanwhile, has been every bit as good as advertised in his first season being reunited with Tom Thibodeau after an offseason trade from Chicago.

The other five reserves from the Western Conference have piled up a combined 23 All-Star appearances.

Aldridge has been the anchor in San Antonio with Kawhi Leonard’s season plagued by injuries. The six-time All-Star leads the Spurs in points, rebounds and blocks and is the only player on the roster playing more than 27.5 minutes (33.9).

Green is making his third All-Star appearance and Thompson his fourth straight, as the other two stars from a Warriors team that becomes the first in league history to have four All-Stars (the same four) in back-to-back seasons.

Lillard, a three-time All-Star, is back for the first time since 2015. One of the league’s most dynamic floor leaders, he’s leading the Trail Blazers in points (25.2) and assists (6.6).

Westbrook, who is making his fourth straight All-Star appearance and seventh overall, has seen his scoring average dip from last year’s triple-double effort with the offseason additions of (former) All-Stars Paul George and Camelo Anthony. But he’s still close to that triple-double level this season (24.8 points, 10.1 assists and 9.7 rebounds).

Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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