Familiar faces and notable first-timers

We now know the reserves for the upcoming NBA All-Star Game. Let the debates begin about who got snubbed.

After starters and captains were announced last week, the rest of the rosters were announced Thursday night on TNT. There are plenty of familiar faces, along with some notable first-time All-Stars selected by the league’s coaches.

From the Eastern Conference: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards; Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons; Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors; Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks; Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers; Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers; and Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic.

From the Western Conference: LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs; Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans; Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets; Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers; Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors; Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves; and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Westbrook will be making his eighth career All-Star appearance, and Aldridge was picked for the seventh time. Davis was selected for the sixth time days after he sent the league into a frenzy with his demand to be traded from New Orleans.

Among the East reserves, Griffin was picked for the sixth time, while Lowry will make his fifth career appearance. Oladipo was selected for the second consecutive year, but he will miss the All-Star Game after suffering a season-ending knee injury last week.

D’Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets and the 76ers’ Jimmy Butler are considered the top candidates to replace Oladipo.

Jokic, Simmons, Middleton and Vucevic were picked for their first All-Star appearances.

Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic was denied in his attempt to be the first rookie All-Star since Griffin in 2011, despite finishing second among West frontcourt players in fan voting. Only seven rookies have been an All-Star in the last 30 years: Griffin, Yao Ming, Tim Duncan, Grant Hill, Shaquille O’Neal, Dikembe Mutombo and David Robinson.

Announced last week, the starters from the Western Conference are LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers; Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors; James Harden, Houston Rockets; and Paul George, Thunder.

In the East, the starters are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks; Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics; Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets; Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors; and Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers.

James and Antetokounmpo are the captains in the second year of the All-Star Game’s draft format. They will select their teams Feb. 7 on TNT from the entire pool of players, regardless of conference. The All-Star Game is Feb. 17 in Charlotte.

Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_.

 

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