NBA All-Star reserves are officially revealed on Thursday, January 28. There are a number of NBA All-Star reserves projected to make the team, with experts around the sport weighing in on which seven players should make the Eastern and Western Conference teams. A report from NBA.com revealed who the 10 starters for the 2016 All-Star Game will be and includes a good mix of players. Among them was Kobe Bryant, who ended up as the top vote-getter for the current season. The Los Angeles Lakers’ guard will get the start once again.
The other Western Conference starters are Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. How the West coaches will construct a starting five out of that group of playmakers will be exciting on offense and problematic on defense. The five Eastern Conference starters are LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors.
The official revelation of the 2016 NBA All-Star reserves will come live on TNT Thursday, January 28 at 7 p.m. ET. Those players were voted on by the 30 NBA coaches, who placed votes on two guards, three frontcourt players, and two “wild cards” from any position. Coaches weren’t allowed to vote for their own players, and the league will reveal which 14 players made the cut. If a player is unable to play on the All-Star team due to an injury, NBA commissioner Adam Silver will name a replacement before the game takes place on February 14.
A number of sports sites have released lists of the players they feel are the most deserving of NBA All-Star reserve slots. A report from Sports Illustrated has Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks, Chris Bosh of the Heat, Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons, DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, and Isiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics as the East reserves.
According to SI, the West reserves are Chris Paul of the LA Clippers, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings, Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans, and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks. These reserves snub Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs, and Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com also released a report on who he feels should be the 2016 NBA All-Star reserves. In the West, he feels that LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs should be on the team instead of Anthony Davis. He agrees with the other reserves projected by Sports Illustrated in the West. Stein agrees with all seven reserves in the East, leaving off players like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks, Reggie Jackson of the Detroit Pistons, and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets.
The biggest snub among the 2016 NBA All-Star reserves could end up being Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard. Though Lillard was on the Western Conference All-Star team in 2015 and is putting up better numbers this season, he hasn’t received the same national support from NBA analysts. Through 40 games with the Blazers this season, Lillard is averaging 24.3 points, 7.1 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game. Will the NBA coaches differ from what analysts are predicting will be the seven Western Conference reserves?
The vote to have Kobe Bryant as a starter in the West, despite having the worst season of his career, is likely going to take a spot away from a more deserving candidate in the conference. The fans wanted to see Bryant as an All-Star in his final NBA season, though, making him a starter even while he is putting up sub-par numbers for the LA Lakers. That will likely be a topic of conversation when TNT reveals the 2016 NBA All-Star reserves on January 28.
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