Jan 28, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives to the basket during the first quarter as Dallas Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo (9) defends at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
James Harden: All-Star Reserve Selections Announced Tonight
Last week we learned the 10 starting players as selected by fans for the All-Star Game and tonight on NBA TV we’ll learn the reserves as selected by the coaches. Houston Rocket James Harden is a leading contender for MVP this year (along with Stephen Curry) is pretty much a lock to make the team. Every list I’ve seen or heard discussed has Harden at the top of the list to make the team.
What we don’t know is whether like last season he’ll end up getting the start. Kobe Bryant required surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff so will need to be replaced in the starting line-up.
The choice is likely to come down to James Harden and Klay Thompson and not just because they are shooting guards. Harden would be the logical choice given his MVP type season and because he was just behind Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant in the fan voting. However, Thompson plays for All-Star head coach, Steve Kerr who won the job based on Golden State posting the best Western record. Kerr would have a legitimate argument to start Thompson given he and Curry formulate the Splash Brothers duo, are comfortable with each other which will help the flow of the game and Thompson just made history this past week scoring 37 points in one quarter.
An additional seven players for each conference who’ve been voted on by coaches will be announced tonight. Kobe Bryant’s replacement will be selected by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver although I’m not sure when that announcement will be made. The seven players will consist of 2 guards, 3 front court players and two other players of any position. Since the West features so many talented guards it’s conceivable there will be 4 guards selected and even a fifth once Silver announces Bryant’s replacement.
The picks will be announced this evening on the TNT Thursday night show with E.J., Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.
Of note, when making selections each coach has different factors that feature more prominently. The types of things considered are:
- how effective the player’s team is with or without him on the court
- obviously game plans factor in, for example if a certain player always requires more than one defensive scheme or defender
- career year
Looking ahead to tonight, the following is my suggested picks for both conferences along with an explanation. I invite you to offer your comments regarding my picks or provide your own in the comments section.
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