With the recent news of Russell Westbrook’s third knee surgery within a year, which will sideline the former Bruin until after the All-Star break, an opening in the selection for backcourt reserves for the West in the 2014 All-Star Game has surfaced. It was pretty much safe to say that Westbrook was on his way to his fourth consecutive reserve selection prior to his latest injury.
Another spot in the Western backcourt may open up if Kobe Bryant, who leads the West backcourt in fan voting by far, decides to sit out of All-Star weekend, even though his return from a fractured knee is slated before All-Star festivities kick off in New Orleans. However, we will assume The Mamba will play in his 16th ASG for this article’s purpose. We will also assume Chris Paul will lock up the starting nod from the fans for the other backcourt position.
Since point guards dominate the league more than ever, especially in the stacked Western Conference, an entire All-Star team could be comprised strictly of deserving point guards. As interesting as that would be, doing so would violate All-Star rules. So, let’s talk about the top five point guards who are contenders for one of the reserve roles for the Western Conference in the 2014 All-Star Game.
*** *** ***
5. JRUE HOLIDAY
Jrue Holiday swooped in for an All-Star spot last year to represent Philadelphia with the injuries to Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo. This year, injuries to Westbrook and Bryant may allot him the same opportunity, but this time in the West with the Pelicans. After all, the All-Star festivities are in New Orleans and the local fans would appreciate their young and deserving point guard making the cut.
Holiday has found a home in New Orleans, as his role is expanding at a rapid pace. His impact to the team is becoming more and more profound, as his individual contribution (15.4 PPG, 8.2 APG), his value as a point guard, and his two-man game with Anthony Davis gets stronger. His recent 31-point, 13-assist game against Portland turned NBA fans’ heads, which should also bring attention to the consistently solid performance he is putting together for the Pelicans.
4. TONY PARKER
Once again, the San Antonio Spurs are among the best of the best not only in the West, but in the entire league as well. Since the Spurs are running in high gear, it will be difficult to imagine the Western Conference All-Star coaches overlooking arguably San Antonio’s best player, Tony Parker, when making reserves selections.
Parker continues to be the figurative glue for the ever-consistent Spurs, and additionally continues to post dependent numbers of 17.8 PPG and 6.1 APG on 49.9 percent shooting. It has become a staple in the NBA that Parker ranks among the best point guards in the league, and this season is no different. Parker is ol’ reliable on the ol’ reliable Spurs, and in all probability headed to his sixth All-Star Game in New Orleans.