If Jeremy Lin wants to make the All-Star Game, he'll have to beat stars like Tony Parker, second from left, and Russell Westbrook, far right, when the 2013 NBA All-Star Game reserves are announced Thursday on TNT. (Photo : Reuters)
Only seven spots remain on both the Eastern and Western Conference teams when the reserves for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game are announced Thursday night.
The starting spots, which were decided by fan voting, were already announced last Thursday.
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For the East, it will be LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, Dwayne Wade, and Rajon Rondo representing their conference. And for the West, lead-vote-getter Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin will meet the challenge when the NBA All-Star Game comes to Houston on Feb. 17.
Unlike the starting lineup, the reserves will be selected by the 30 coaches for each of the NBA's teams. Coaches must select two guards, three frontcourt players and two other players for the All-Star Game.
The Eastern Conference has many talented players who have had stellar years, that could fill out those seven spots, including Miami's co-Big Three member and center Chris Bosh, New York's dominating center Tyson Chandler, Chicago's solid power forward Joakim Noah and Cleveland's electrifying point guard Kyrie Irving.
And for the Western Conference, Houston's James Harden is likely to guarantee that the Rockets have at least one hometown representative on the gala squad. But there is a litany of other Western stars that could make the final cut including Oklahoma City's explosive Russell Westbrook, San Antonio's veteran stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, Golden State's slick passing, high-scoring Stephen Curry and Memphis's bruising power forward Zach Randolph.
Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin came close to unseating the L.A. Clippers' point guard Chris Paul in fan voting, finishing second behind Paul. However, with Lin having struggled statistically this season with inconsistent offense (12.0 points this season) it is unlikely that the coaches will pick him over some of the other Western Conference point guards with better numbers such as Westbrook, Parker or Curry.
The coaches for each conference will be the head coaches who led the teams with the best winning percentage in their conference thus far this season.
So, far, that could mean that Miami's Erik Spoelstra is in the running in the East along with New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson. For the West, Scott Brooks coached the Oklahoma City Thunder-which has the best record in the West and the NBA at 33-9-but he is ineligible to coach the Western Conference again as per league rules.
The NBA All-Star reserves will be announced during a special one-hour pregame show, NBA Tip-Off, at 7 p.m. EST on Thursday, only on TNT. Former NBA greats Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber will be on-hand as analysts.
Following that, TNT will air a double header with the New York Knicks taking on the Boston Celtics at 8 p.m. EST, followed by the Phoenix Suns playing against the L.A. Clippers at 10:30 p.m. EST.