HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – At least we can’t stop arguing about it now.
Kevin Love or Blake Griffin? Ray Allen or Raymond Felton? All those debate come to an end this evening.
The All-Star reserves for both the Eastern and Western conference will be announced tonight, during a special one-hour edition of NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com on TNT at 7 p.m. ET, before the Heat-Magic, Spurs-Lakers doubleheader. Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Chris Webber will all have their say tonight.
But we can’t wait that long.
We’re delivering HT’s picks for those coveted 14 spots (15, if you count the injury replacement selection for Yao Ming) right here and now.
*Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
All-Star credentials: Perennial All-Star is one of the top 10 scorers in the league (23.2).
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
All-Star credentials: Having a career season across the board (22.5 points, 8.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds).
Deron Williams, Jazz
All-Star credentials: Arguably the best point guard in the league (21.9 points, 9.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds).
Manu Ginobili, Spurs
All-Star credentials: MVP candidate leads the league’s team in scoring (18.8) and clutch plays.
Blake Griffin, Clippers
All-Star credentials: Rookie sensation is averaging 23 points, 12.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists and has 40 double-doubles.
Pau Gasol, Lakers
All-Star credentials: Solid season (18.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists) despite the Lakers’ drama and recent struggles.
Kevin Love, Timberwolves
All-Star credentials: League’s leading rebounder (15.5) does it both ends (21.4 points) and has 43 double doubles.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers
All-Star credentials: Career-best season (21.3 points, 9 rebounds) with Brandon Roy and Greg Oden missing.
* Injury replacement for Yao
NEXT UP: Zach Randolph, Steve Nash
– If Love or Griffin get snubbed for being on lottery teams, we are planning a non-violent protest outside of the Staples Center for high noon on Feb. 20. You can’t even debate the rest. They should all be locks!
Rajon Rondo, Celtics
All-Star credentials: Arguably the Celtics’ best player and leads the league in assists (12.5) and is second in steals (2.64)
Paul Pierce, Celtics
All-Star credentials: MVP candidate and leading scorer (19.1) for best team in East is having his best shooting season (51 percent FG and 42 percent 3-pt FG) of his career?
Al Horford, Hawks
All-Star credentials: Career highs in points (16.1), rebounds (9.9) and top five in FG percentage (.567) and has 24 double doubles.
Ray Allen, Celtics
All-Star credentials: Poised to become the most prolific 3-pointer in league history, shooting a career-best 46 percent from deep and averaging 17.3 points.
Chris Bosh, Heat
All-Star credentials: Slow start and dramatic change of scenery gave way to typical production (18.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 15 double doubles) for the five-time All-Star.
Kevin Garnett, Celtics
All-Star credentials: Backbone of the best team in the East is still a force (8.9 rebounds) despite reduced scoring numbers (15 points).
Josh Smith, Hawks
All-Star credentials: Scoring (16.2) and rebounding (8.9) as well ever, in addition to serving as the Hawks’ defensive leader (1.8 blocks and 1.3 steals). Has 22 double doubles.
NEXT UP: Joe Johnson, Andrew Bogut
– I know, it’s a Celtics party in the East. But All four of their representatives are worthy and they are leading the conference. Bogut and Johnson have great arguments for being on the team, as well.