All-Star reserves: Snubs, surprises

Verrier: Damian Lillard? Tough to say any of these guys doesn't belong -- perhaps maybe Paul, who has missed almost a month of games and might opt out anyway -- but Lillard's nod has more to do with team success than I'm comfortable with, especially with guys among the top 10 in PER, such as Davis and Cousins, left on the cutting room floor.

Wallace: Chris Paul. If healthy, this is a no-brainer. But considering how many games he has missed for the Clippers this season, it's clear the coaches picked Paul purely out of respect for his status in the league. I can certainly see why Russell Westbrook needs an explanation right about now.


5. East or West: Which roster is better?


Haberstroh: West. I'd actually argue that a lineup of West reserves of Chris Paul, James Harden, Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard would beat the East starters. Let's make it happen to start the second-half, Scott Brooks.

Pelton: West. Ha, that's a good one! Even without any real contributions from injured Kobe Bryant, the West roster has combined for 86 WARP to the East's 71. Of the top 11 All-Stars by WARP, eight play for the West. On paper, this matchup is as lopsided as East-West games have been all season.

Strauss: If defense is played, I prefer the East roster. Even without Lowry's defense, you're still shutting down the opposition with the best defensive center (Hibbert) and two of the game's best perimeter defenders (LeBron, Paul George). The West should have a great offense, but they claim surprisingly little defensive talent.

Verrier: West. How is there an underdog in an All-Star Game? Maybe give the East its counterpart's bench and call up the rest of the worthy Westerners left outside of the cut.

Wallace: The West is built to score 200 points in New Orleans, with so many versatile and prolific scorers. Unless the East decides to really play some defense throughout in this game, this one will get ugly in a hurry.

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