If the Raptors earn a win on Wednesday against Miami it will vault into fifth spot in the East and are still looking at a manageable schedule leading to the all-star break. After the Miami game, Toronto will face six teams with a record below .500.
We’re a couple of days away from the announcement of the all-star game reserves and here is my take: Being voted in as a reserve holds more status than being voted a starter by the fans.
Don’t get me wrong; for the most part the fans get it right — even this season with Allen Iverson. A.I. is a former MVP and has thrown his slight body around the court for his entire career. As I have often said, he may not like to practice but when the lights go on he’s ready to ball. Let’s chalk up his all-star accomplishment to “respect” more than anything else.
But A.I. aside, when you get selected as a reserve by coaches, that’s an honour. These are the guys who have probably consulted with their assistants before casting the ballots and they know who is on the floor “doin’ work” every night.
Here are my reserves trying as best I can to stay with the formula of two guards, two forwards, one center and two wild cards.
In the East: Joe Johnson (Atl), Rajon Rondo (Bos), Chris Bosh (Tor), Gerald Wallace (Cha), Paul Pierce (Bos), David Lee (NYK), Josh Smith (Atl).
In the West: Chris Paul (NOH), Chauncey Billups (Den), Dirk Nowtizki (Dal), Zach Randolph (Mem), Pau Gasol (LAL), Brandon Roy, Kevin Durant (OKC).
Near misses: Derrick Rose (Chi), Stephen Jackson (Cha), Joakim Noah (Chi) and Chris Kaman (LAC) are a few that come to mind, but in considering winning, have at it folks.
It’s an inexact science; so changes can always be made with a good argument.
Speaking of good arguments, do you think there is one to be made over DeMar DeRozan being left out of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge?
I’m trying hard to keep the conspiracy theorist in me from not shaking my head to the point where it falls off. Let’s just keep the genie in the bottle, but something doesn’t look right. DeRozan is playing well, starting on a team that is hovering around .500 and holding down a good spot in the East.
Maybe the youngster can use it as motivation over the second half of the season once he gets healthy. DeRozan will miss the Miami and New York games with Sonny Weems starting in his place against Miami.