EOB Picks: 2014 NBA All-Star reserves
All-Star reserve picks from the Eye on Basketball crew including Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, John Wall and more.
The NBA All-Star starters were announced Thursday night. On Jan. 30, the coaches' choices for the reserves will be announced on TNT. In the meantime, we wanted to give you our picks.
John Wall, G, Washington Wizards -- The Wizards are actually a pretty decent team and they're driven by Wall's stellar point guard play. Wall hasn't just earned it as a default pick because it's the East. He's legit.
Chris Bosh, F, Miami Heat -- Bosh's numbers don't blow you away but his impact is still one of the best in the East. His improvement as a 3-point shooter (37.0 percent) adds even more to the Heat's attack.
Lance Stephenson, G, Indiana Pacers -- This isn't just Stephenson getting in because of his team's success; he's legitimately an All-Star level impact player this season.
Dwight Howard, C, Houston Rockets -- While Dwight Howard may be someone that people have soured on because of his antics over the past two years, he's still one of the best players in the NBA and has proven that.
James Harden, F, Houston Rockets -- Harden embodies the spirit of the NBA All-Star Game. He's an incredibly fun offensive player that can bomb from deep, has great moves to drop the hammer down at the rim, and he doesn't play any defense.
Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers -- Lillard has been one of the deadliest fourth quarter scorers this season and he's paired perfectly with Aldridge to lead the Blazers' charge.
Anthony Davis, F, New Orleans Pelicans -- I know he missed time and it's hard not to have Dirk Nowitzki in this game, but Davis' play on both ends of the floor is just too good this season.
Roy Hibbert, C, Indiana Pacers -- The best defensive player in the league deserves an All-Star spot. That he's a good offensive player on the best team in the league is just icing on the tasty cake.
Lance Stephenson, G, Indiana Pacers -- The dude is a huge part of why the Pacers are so successful, and he's filling up the stat sheet. He's fun, the All-Star Game is fun. Let's have fun. Fun.
Joakim Noah, C, Chicago Bulls -- Speaking of fun, the guy carrying the Bulls' tattered remains to the playoffs probably deserves some love. And I always like him being in a locker room with guys he hates.
John Wall, G, Wizards -- He should have started over Irving, honestly. He's had a better season and has done more with his team. Wall's a guy who shows out in these kinds of environments.
Chris Bosh, F, Miami Heat -- The same argument as always: He's the lynchpin for what the Heat do. He's a fantastic complimentary player and an All-Star caliber player if he was on his own.
DeMar DeRozan, G, Toronto Raptors -- Dude's just been having a crazy season scoring, and the Raptors' success is more due to him than Lowry. He's also a fantastic dunker. He should go.
LaMarcus Aldridge, F, Portland Trail Blazers -- Has carried the Blazers like few in this league have carried their teams, and is a dominant post player. He has reached "unguardable" status.
Dwight Howard, C, Houston Rockets -- OK, stunner that he's not a starter, but seriously, he needs to be in. He's still one of, if not the best center in the league, and he's a highlight machine. He should probably be the second guy in behind Aldridge.
Chris Paul, G, Los Angeles Clippers -- If he can play, he should be in, because he's the best point guard in the league, and makes razzle dazzle plays. Paul carries that All-Star quality and his team is one of the better teams in the West. He's an All-Star.
Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers -- The man with a License to Lill has been hitting threes at an incredible rate, he's the second most-important player on a top-three West team, and he's a lot of fun to watch. Kobe's endorsement doesn't hurt, either.
Anthony Davis, F, New Orleans Pelicans -- That kid is a freak of nature. He's averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks per game.
Mike Conley, G, Memphis Grizzlies -- Conley's play has been better than Harden's. That's how bad Harden's defense is. Conley has emerged as a floor leader, a fantastic game manager and a guy who can score in a multitude of ways. He kept Memphis afloat with Marc Gasol out.
DeMarcus Cousins, F/C, Sacramento Kings -- The choice between him and Serge Ibaka is really difficult, but I lean towards Cousins because his defensive attention has been so much better this year. He's a dominant inside scorer and one of the most unstoppable bully guys in the league. Plus, everyone hates him, and I love the idea of that locker room.
Kobe Bryant replacement: James Harden -- Harden is a fantastic scorer and a definite All-Star name. I just don't think he's been good enough defensively (as in, he's been so bad it hurts him too much) to warrant it.
(Note: The Spurs don't want to go to the All-Star game, and no player is having a dominant season. There's no problem with them not having a selection.)
DeMar DeRozan, G, Toronto Raptors -- The Raptors are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. A team getting homecourt advantage in the opening round of the playoffs should have an All-Star. And DeRozan is a good answer for it, averaging 21.8 points a game, 11th in the league.
Kyle Lowry, G, Toronto Raptors -- OK, so make it two All-Stars for the Raptors. At this current moment, in terms of impact on the floor, you could make a strong case for Lowry as the top point guard in the East this season. His PER is only slightly behind Irving's, but considering the defensive end... you know what I mean.
Arron Afflalo, G, Orlando Magic -- So the Magic stink, but that's no fault of Affalo's. He's having a career year, averaging 20.2 points while playing his typically solid defense. You don't have to be on a good team to be an All-Star.
John Wall, G, Washington Wizards -- Wall is eighth overall in the league in PER, and has taken clear steps forward as becoming a true star. He's averaging career-highs in points and assists, and is leading the Wizards to one of their better seasons in recent memory.
Chris Bosh, F, Miami Heat -- Bosh has his critics, but he's quietly having a high quality, efficient season. He's shooting 37 percent from 3, and 53 percent from the field. Plus, he plays for the Heat.
Joakim Noah, C, Chicago Bulls -- The level of play Noah has gone to since the Bulls traded Luol Deng is downright inspiring. Nobody brings more effort and more energy on a night to night basis. He's earned his All-Star spot, even if the Bulls have severely slipped.
Roy Hibbert, C, Indiana Pacers -- His numbers don't especially pop, but he plays for the best record in basketball, and is the anchor of the league's best defense. Defense isn't exactly the top priority for an All-Star Game, but regardless, Hibbert's earned his place.
LaMarcus Aldridge, F, Portland Trail Blazers -- The kind of season Aldridge has had, you really don't need to explain why he should be on the All-Star team. Really, the only discussion to be had was whether he deserved to be a starter.
Dwight Howard, C, Houston Rockets -- A bit of a shocker that he's not in the starting five, but probably the right pick to go with Love over him. Still, Howard's an All-Star, even if he's not near at the supreme dominant level he was at three years ago.
Serge Ibaka, F, Oklahoma City Thunder -- Here's the justification on this reach pick: The Thunder have the (current) best record in the West, and with Russell Westbrook likely out through the break, it doesn't feel right only sending one player from their team. And since I don't think Derek Fisher has had quite good enough a season, Ibaka is a good choice who is averaging career-high points and rebounds, and playing the best overall defense of his career.
DeMarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento Kings -- A PER of 26.51, and averaging a nightly 20-10. Cousins is finally realizing the kind of ability he has, and is bringing it on a night-to-night basis.
James Harden, G, Houston Rockets -- His defense is embarrassing, which means he's going to fit right in at the All-Star Game. But you can't leave the league's fifth-leading scorer out of the game. Just can't.
Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers -- Averaging 21 and six assists, while commandeering the league's best offense and the West's third best record. A complete no-brainer pick.
Tony Parker, G, San Antonio Spurs -- The Spurs have to have an All-Star. And while Tim Duncan is a staple, and averaging a double-double, Parker is the engine of the Spurs and probably the team's best player.
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