Rather than wait a few hours to find out the answer to that question, let’s check out the possibilities. For those who don’t know, while the All-Star starters were voted in by the fans, the reserves are voted in by the coaches. The coaches are asked to vote for 7 players (but they can’t vote for any on their own team): 2 guards, 2 forwards, 1 center, and 2 wild cards (in other words any position they want). With the 1 center spot, things seem to look good for David Lee. Statistically his numbers are great, while his skills have significantly improved, which all the opposing coaches have noticed. So what other centers are there? The Nets’ Brook Lopez has been decent, but compared to the Nets’ winning percentage, the Knicks look like world-beaters, so no way Lopez gets the nod over Lee. Joakim Noah’s been a great rebounder for the Chicago Bulls, but his offensive game is as raw as it gets. The Celts’ Kendrick Perkins is a great defender, but the team as a whole is a pretty darn good defensive unit, so he doesn’t stand out as much as he should. Indiana’s Troy Murphy has his moments, but he hasn’t been consistent enough nor led his team to many victories. The Milwaukee Bucks‘ Andrew Bogut is starting to come on, but he started off the year godawful, so no way he gets in. The Hawks’ Al Horford has been good, but his numbers aren’t as good as Lee’s, nor does he particularly stand out amongst that team as someone who’s really helped vault them to that next level. Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani has been the poor man’s Troy Murphy — a center who prefers to stand outside and shoot threes rather than bang down low. He’s been inconsistent too. In other words, there is no one else. So he’s in, right?
Not so fast, Sparky. One slight difference between the rules for the coaches’ voting and the fans’ voting is big. The coaches are allowed to vote for a player in a different position than the one they play if they think that person can play that spot. Meaning, Chris Bosh may like to call himself a power forward, but he (like many others such as Tim Duncan) should really play center. Thus, Bosh is the guy most likely to get that backup center spot. Meaning David Lee’s chances boil down to the two Wild Card spots. But to determine who he’ll be going up against, we kinda gotta figure out who’ll be left after the 2 guard & fwd spots are filled.
Top Eastern forwards: Josh Smith, Paul Pierce, Gerald Wallace. Even though Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala & Antawn Jamison have had solid statistical years, they’ve all seemed pretty ineffective in bringing about wins on their teams, and most of ‘em have had better years in the past. Leaving it down to Smith, Pierce & Wallace. Honestly, I think they all deserve to go, and rather than pick specifics, we’ll say two get the forward spots and one gets one of the Wild Card spots. That leaves one possible wild card spot remaining for Lee.
Top Eastern guards vying for the last spots: Joe Johnson, Rajon Rondo, Stephen Jackson, maybe Derrick Rose or Jamal Crawford. Joe’s a definite. Derrick Rose’s last few games have been great, and more importantly it seems like he’s hit his groove so we should expect the same going forward. Unfortunately for him the voters had already sent their votes in and he came out sucking not swinging at the beginning of the season. Crawford’s been great off the bench, but I think the fact that he’s on the bench will mean he won’t get a spot. Meaning we’re down to Rondo & Stephen Jackson. I honestly haven’t actually visually seen (as opposed to emotionally seeing?) either of them that much this season. Some pundits have said Rondo has to make it. Others have left him off their list. In terms of Stephen Jackson, some people feel the Bobcats don’t deserve to have two All-Stars so you need to choose between him and Gerald Wallace. I’ve got no idea. One of ‘em will take that second guard spot. The question is: will the other one take the last remaining Wild Card spot away from David Lee? Honestly, I don’t know. Guess I’ll have to wait these next few hours.