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Name seven players in the West and seven in the East who should be chosen as All-Star reserves.
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Steve Aschburner: West: There are two immediate slots to fill with Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic, given the West had five frontcourt guys worthy of starting. LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gobert, Tobias Harris, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook would flesh out my stellar bench. I like Gobert over Utah teammate Donovan Mitchell because I want to see defense (Gobert’s shot-blocking) in the All-Star Game. Unfortunately, Dallas loses out at both ends of the NBA legend life cycle, with no spot to honor Dirk Nowitzki and a directive for Luka Doncic to showcase himself in the Rising Stars Game.
East: Trying to think like a conference coach here, I’ll go with Bradley Beal, Blake Griffin, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, D’Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic and Ben Simmons. I still contend that Dwyane Wade, the people’s choice in fan balloting, should get a spot because this is an exhibition for the fans. We can get all serious and honorary with the All-NBA teams at season’s end. But coaches aren’t prone to sentiment on this sort of thing.
Shaun Powell: West: Make it Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Nikola Jokic as the frontcourt, Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard as the guards, and the wild cards are Rudy Gobert and Luka Doncic.
East: Give me Blake Griffin, Nikola Vucevic and Khris Middleton in the front court, Ben Simmons and Victor Oladipo the guards, and the wild cards are D'Angelo Russell and Bradley Beal. Oladipo's replacement is Jimmy Butler.
John Schuhmann: West: Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard and Nikola Jokic are easy picks. After that, Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns are most deserving. And finally, LaMarcus Aldridge and Russell Westbrook edge out Tobias Harris, Donovan Mitchell and Klay Thompson for the last two spots.
East: The first five are pretty easy: Bradley Beal, Blake Griffin, Victor Oladipo, Ben Simmons and Nikola Vucevic. D'Angelo Russell has earned a spot with the way he's played over the last two months and the Oladipo injury (and the need for a replacement) keeps us from having to choose between a second Buck and a second Raptor. So both Eric Bledsoe and Kyle Lowry should be going to Charlotte.
Sekou Smith: West: My Western Conference All-Star reserves are Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert, Tobias Harris, Nikola Jokic, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook.
East: My Eastern Conference All-Star reserves are Bradley Beal, Blake Griffin, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, (the injured) Victor Oladipo, D'Angelo Russell, Ben Simmons and Nikola Vucevic.
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