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NBA All-Star Game 2021: Damian Lillard, James Harden among reserves selected by the league’s coaches

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The NBA announced its All-Star Game starters last Thursday, but given the somewhat predictable nature of choosing the top five players in each conference, tonight̵

7;s revelation is the more important one. On Tuesday, the league unveiled the seven All-Star reserves for each conference as chosen by the coaches within those conferences. The seven slots were split between two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild card slots to get rosters up to 12 with the inclusion of the five starters. Here are the 14 reserves that earned their seats on Tuesday:

Eastern Conference

G: James Harden

G: Jaylen Brown

FC: Jayson Tatum

FC: Julius Randle

FC: Nikola Vucevic

WC: Ben Simmons

WC: Zach LaVine

Western Conference

G: Damian Lillard

G: Chris Paul

FC: Anthony Davis

FC: Rudy Gobert

FC: Zion Williamson

WC: Donovan Mitchell

WC: Paul George

The obvious absence here is Mike Conley, who is considered the best active player who has never made an All-Star game. But with Davis still injured, the commissioner has the right to name a replacement if he misses the event. It gives Conley at least one more chance to get into the game. He faces stiff competition from Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, an All-Star in 2020, and young guards Ja Morant and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

The Eastern Conference is becoming more controversial. With so many worthy names, there would inevitably be more snubs. Among them are Domantas Sabonis, Trae Young, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. Of those 14 total reserves, four are first timers: LaVine, Randle, Brown and Williamson.

These playlists do not actually play together in the All-Star game itself. As has been the case in the last three All-Star Games, the top voices at each conference will act as captain in a draft to split this talent. LeBron James will serve as captain and his team will be coached by Quin Snyder. Kevin Durant will serve as the second captain and his team will be coached by Doc Rivers. The All-Star draft will be held on March 4 just days before the game.

Like last year, the All-Star game will be played under a modified version of the Elam Ending format. In honor of Kobe Bryant, 24 points are added to the leading team’s score after three quarters. Whoever reaches the total point first wins the game.

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