The 2017 NBA All-Star Game reserves were announced on Thursday.
Seven reserves for the Eastern and Western Conference rosters were decided by a vote from NBA coaches. Fans, media, and players had already voted for the five starters of both conferences.
The All-Star starters were already released earlier this month. However, that just built up more anticipation to see who would fill out the All-Star reserve spots.
Overall, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have a combined seven players that were named All-Stars.
Warriors Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were both selected to the reserves. Teammates Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were already named to the All-Star starting lineup.
Other Western Conference starters include Houston Rockets guard James Harden, San Antonio Spurs Kawhi Leonard, and New Orleans Pelicans big Anthony Davis.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol are also Western Conference All-Stars once again, as they were selected as reserves.
Westbrook is on pace to become only the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double. He currently averages 30.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists for the season.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward made their first All-Star roster. Jordan is averaging 12 points and 14 rebounds, while Hayward averages 21.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. They wrap up the Western Conference roster.
Full list of All-Star reserves, as chosen by NBA coaches: pic.twitter.com/fs51vzAxSy
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) January 27, 2017
Meanwhile, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love joins his teammates LeBron James and Kyrie Irving for the Eastern Conference. Love made the All-Star roster as a reserve, while James and Irving made it as starters.
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler round out the Eastern Conference starters.
Love makes his first appearance as a Cavalier. He made the All-Star game three times as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Cavs’ big man averages 20.5 points and 11 rebounds in over 39 games this season.
Further, the Eastern All-Star reserves feature Washington Wizards guard John Wall, Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, and Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap. They are all multiple-time All-Star team selections.
Wall is the only NBA player averaging 20 points, 10 assists, and two steals per game this season, according to ESPN.
Nonetheless, Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker got his first All-Star nod via the Eastern Conference reserve vote. Walker is averaging 23 points and 5.5 assists per game. He is the first Hornets player to receive an All-Star selection since 2009-10.
Kemba Walker is the Hornets' first All-Star selection since Gerald Wallace in 2009-10. pic.twitter.com/Lyhyf4kSFB
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 27, 2017
Still, there is always debate about who should have made the roster. Who are some NBA players that should have been All-Stars?
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been listed as an All-Star snub by multiple sources. USA Today lists Embiid and Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard as some of the players that were snubbed from either All-Star team.
Embiid finished third in the fan vote, despite being limited to only 30 games this season. He is averaging 19.8 points per game, and Embiid would have become the first rookie to make the team since Blake Griffin in 2011, according to NBA.com. However, the coaches did not select Embiid.
Bleacher Report listed long-time All-Stars like Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony as snubs from the All-Star game. Anthony made the roster for nine consecutive seasons, but he did not make the cut with his 22.7 points per game average this season. Wade made the roster each of the previous 12 years, but he will sit out this game in his first year as a member of the Chicago Bulls.
Also in the East, CBS Sports’ James Herbert writes that Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond also had a case for the All-Star game. His 14.2 points and 13.5 rebounds per game are similar to the numbers that earned him a roster spot last season. However, Herbert wrote that the Pistons’ center missed the selection because his team has struggled too much this season, and Drummond has not taken the next step defensively.
“Aye yo Dame, I know you got that diss track coming, right?” pic.twitter.com/pUSa4a74Tz
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 27, 2017
In the Western Conference, Rudy Gobert missed a chance for his first All-Star game. The same Bleacher Report article said that Gobert is becoming one of the best paint defenders in the league as the Jazz keep ascending. Gobert averages 12.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks for Utah this season.
Moreover, Fox Sports’ Andrew Lynch lists Clippers guard Chris Paul and Grizzlies guard Mike Conley as players that should have replaced Klay Thompson on the Western Conference All-Star roster.
Not to mention, Lillard becomes the first player since 1986 to miss consecutive All-Star games while averaging more than 25 points per game, according to SB Nation. This season, Lillard is averaging 26.2 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.8 rebounds, but he was not named as an All-Star reserve.
The NBA All-Star game takes place on Feb. 19 in New Orleans.
[Featured Image by Sue Ogrocki/AP Images]