Manu and Duncan named All-Star reserves, Spurs will send big contingent back to LA
The NBA All-Star reserves were announced on Thursday night and the suspense is over, Tim Duncan’s All-Star streak is over. Duncan, along with Manu Ginobili, was named as one of the West’s reserves.
Ginobili isn’t much of a surprise, he’s been as much of an MVP candidate as this balanced Spurs team could have. Duncan, well, he’s a bit of a stretch. His numbers this season aren’t great (13.6 points and 9.4 rebounds), so he basically gets in on reputation.
It’s hard to see many of the league’s coaches not voting him in. I mean, Duncan’s the type of player every coach wants to have on their team, so one way of encouraging that from other players is by voting Duncan in when given the choice.
It was interesting that Duncan was only listed as a forward on the press release that was sent out. His insistence on not being a center is still strong, even though he’s basically Yao Ming’s replacement on the West roster.
The league has yet to name an official replacement for Yao, but if it’s Kevin Love like many expect, Duncan is the de facto center on that team. Even with Pau Gasol being voted as a reserve.Â But Duncan’s still just a power forward, apparently.
TD and Ginobili are just the latest additions to the Spurs charter flight to LA for All-Star Weekend. Head Coach Gregg Popovich and Assistant Coach Mike Budenholzer were the first headed for the trip. Pop was named the Western Conference All-Stars Head Coach when the Spurs clinched the West’s best record.
Coach Bud got the honor of coaching the rookies in the Rookie-Sophomore game for the same reason. Gary Neal will join Coach Bud on the rookie team, as his come-from-obscurity first season has been good enough to earn him a spot on the team. And DeJuan Blair will face Neal and Coach Bud as a member of the sophomore team.
There’s still a chance two more Spurs could be on the trip. Tony Parker didn’t make the All-Star team but he could still be voted into the guard Skills Competition on All-Star Saturday Night. In addition, Matt Bonner, with his 50% 3-point shooting looked destined for the 3-point shootout before a knee bruise has kept him out of action the last couple of weeks.