NBA All-Star Game reserves feature three first-timers for East

ByTim Bontemps ESPN logo
Friday, February 2, 2024

Three first-time honorees -- Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey and Magicforward Paolo Banchero -- were among the 14 reserves picked Thursday to fill out the rosters for this month's NBA All-Star Game.

In addition to the first-timers, the Eastern Conference reserves for this month's midseason showcase included Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (fifth selection), Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (third), Knicks forward Julius Randle (third) and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (third).

The West, meanwhile, was led by All-Star mainstays in Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (10th selection), Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (ninth) and LA Clippers forwards Paul George (ninth) and Kawhi Leonard (sixth). They were joined by Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (fourth), Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (fourth) and Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (second).

Those players will join the 10 starters -- five from each conference -- whom the NBA announced last week for the game, which will be held in Indianapolis on Feb. 18.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Tyrese Haliburton and Damian Lillard were selected to represent the East, while LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were picked for the West.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is already likely to make multiple injury replacements in the Eastern Conference. Randle (shoulder) has been ruled out through the All-Star Game, whileEmbiid (knee), the league's reigning MVP, seems unlikely after suffering a lateral meniscus injury.

Who will be coaching both conferences still remains unclear, and could stay that way until Sunday's deadline.

In the East, the coaches will be from the Milwaukee Bucks or the Knicks, depending on the events of the next few days.

If the Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers and the Lakers and Bucks lose to the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz, New York's Tom Thibodeau and his staff will be the All-Star coaches.

If either of those things doesn't happen, then Doc Rivers, who replaced fired Adrian Griffin in Milwaukee last week, and the Bucks coaches will have the honor. Joe Mazzulla and his staff in Boston are ineligible after coaching the game last year.

In the West, the coaches will come from either the Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder or Clippers.

If Minnesota wins its final two games this week -- against the Magic on Friday and Houston Rockets on Sunday -- then Chris Finch will coach the West.

If Minnesota loses one of the games, that opens the door for Mark Daigneault and the Thunder to get the honor if OKC beats the Charlotte Hornets on Friday and Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

If the Timberwolves lose both games and the Thunder lose one, however, Tyronn Lue and the Clippers staff will coach the game if LA can beat both Detroit on Friday and Miami on Sunday.

The NBA also announced earlier this week that Curry will face off against WNBA starSabrina Ionescuin a special 3-point contest on All-Star Saturday night that will take place between the usual 3-point contest and the slam dunk contest. Those events will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.

Earlier this season, the NBA said it was reverting to the traditional East vs. West format for the All-Star Game, scrapping the system of picking teams by the top vote-getters in each conference that has been used in years. The league has said it hopes to have a better and more competitive product this season after last year's game in Salt Lake City was widely panned.

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