2015 NBA All-Star Game: Picking East and West Reserves


With the All-Star starters voted in, Trisity Miller selects her All-Star reserves for the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Eastern Conference Starters:

G – Kyle Lowry (TOR)
G – John Wall (WAS)
F – Carmelo Anthony (NYK)
F – LeBron James (CLE)
F/C – Pau Gasol (CHI)

Quick Thoughts: I didn’t believe Kyle Lowry would ever start in an All-Star game, but here he is (shout out to the Biebs and Drake). The rest aren’t surprises based on play, though Anthony has no business truly participating in this event because of his bum knee. Can’t blame him though: he won’t play another meaningful contest after the final buzzer sounds in the All-Star Game, so this is game 7 of the NBA Finals for the forward.

Eastern Conference Reserves

Two Backcourt:

G – Jimmy Butler (CHI)
G – Dwyane Wade (MIA) Kyrie Irving (CLE)

Quick Thoughts: As you can see, this spot was initially reserved for Wade who’s been phenomenal this year, but he’s reported to miss “extended time”, so I’m mentally ruling him out. This moves Kyrie Irving up a spot to join Bulls wing Jimmy Butler.

Both guards have been phenomenal this season. Butler has latched himself onto the “Paul George express” career path, emerging as a two-way star and best player on a  contending Bulls team. After what we saw from him offensively last year, I can’t hide my surprise in his leap and he’s well deserving of this spot, unless Thibs runs him dry and doesn’t want to compete.

For Irving, it’s a matter of excellent play plus Kyrie doing all of the little things he’s skipped out on in the past. Call it the “wow, winning does matter” switch-up, but he’s attempting to defend, looking to get his teammates going when tasked as a playmaker and has settled nicely into the second fiddle role alongside James. Too bad he couldn’t be a starter — he’d be $7 million richer.

Three Frontcourt:

F/C – Al Horford (ATL)
F – Paul Millsap (ATL)
F/C – Chris Bosh (MIA)

Quick Thoughts: This one was pretty easy. The HorSap duo is clicking on all cylinders for the Hawks. It’s basically what we saw last year before losing Horford to injury. With Bosh, he’s not exactly back to “Toronto Bosh”, but he’s close and it’s a great sign to see after being a spot-up shooter for the last 2 and 1/2 year (*looks at Kevin Love*).

Due to recency bias, I struggled not putting All-Time GOAT Hakeem Whiteside on the list.

Two Wildcards:

G – Kyle Korver (ATL)
G – Kyrie Irving (CLE) Jeff Teague (ATL)

Quick Thoughts

: This would make 4 total All-Stars for the Atlanta Hawks and I’m not sure anybody on this planet would have a problem with that. Teague is Teague’ing his behind off and Korver is the most important role-player in the league (maybe ever; tell me if I’m overreacting). They deserve it 100%.

Western Conference Starters

G – Stephen Curry (GSW)
G – Kobe Bryant (LAL)
F – Anthony Davis (NOP)
F – Blake Griffin (LAC)
C – Marc Gasol (MEM)

Quick Thoughts: These picks are solid outside of Kobe Bryant if you believe the starting positions in the All-Star game should be filled with the 2 best guards and three best frontcourt players in their respective conference. Unfortunately, that’s now how it works — it’s a fan-based event and the fans decide — which leads to Bryant’s inclusion despite a down season.

Speaking of Kobe Bryant …

Kobe Bryant Injury Replacement

This decision comes down to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and I’ve no clue who he’d select to replace Bryant as he’s out for the remainder of the season (torn rotator cuff), but if recency bias plays a part (it will, because how often does someone score 30+ points in a quarter, failing to miss a shot in the process?), we’ll be seeing Klay Thompson get his first starting nod in an All-Star game.

Western Conference Reserves

Two Backcourt:

G – James Harden (HOU)
G – Chris Paul (LAC)

Quick Thoughts: With Steph Curry grabbing the crown as most popular point guard in the NBA a.k.a. leading the league in All-STar votes,

As for James Harden, he’s the best shooting guard in the NBA; that’s an easy pick.

Three Frontcourt:

F – Kevin Durant (OKC)
C – DeMarcus Cousins (SAC)
F/C – Tim Duncan (SAS)

Quick Thoughts: Somehow KD didn’t get voted into the starting lineup, so he’s destined for the reserves, even if he’s missed nearly half the season. When playing, he’s been up to his MVP ways, so he’s deserving of a spot.

With Cousins, I thought this was a fairly easy decision, for several reasons: 1) Cousins is arguably the best center in the NBA, 2) look at how the Kings performed without Cousins before Mike Malone was booted to Planet unemployed, and 3) his on-off numbers are insane. Easy pick.

With Tim Duncan, I know this one won’t be a popular one, but with Kawhi Leonard missing games with injury, Duncan, once again, proved how good he is, keeping the Spurs afloat and away from a OKC-like slide. And it’s phenomenal that he can keep up that level of play at a late age — he’s the modern-day Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The real question is whether Duncan would even want to participate in the event (I say no).

Two Wildcards:

G – Damian Lillard (POR)
G – LaMarcus Aldridge (POR)

Quick Thoughts: My initial thoughts were to pair Lillard and Westbrook here, but recency bias has come into place, making me select Aldridge instead — he’s been on fire lately while Westbrook has been quite the opposite.


Well, that was fun. To hear the official selections, tune in to TNT tomorrow as Chuck and the gang will reveal the full roster, and let us know below in the comments who you believe will be selected for the 2015 NBA All-Star game.

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