By A. Sherrod Blakely
The All-Star reserves will be announced tonight, and Celtics Nation will be waiting with great anticipation.
The C's have four legit All-Star candidates, all of whom have put up the kind of numbers that are worthy of All-Star selection.
If Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo are all selected, it would be the first time since 2006 (Detroit Pistons) that one team had four players participating in the all-star game. It would also be the first time a Boston Celtics quartet was so honored since 1975.
But before we get too ahead of ourselves, the Eastern Conference coaches who vote on the award have the final say.
I had a chance to talk with four different Eastern Conference coaches about their reserve selections, and all four said that they included the C's Big Four on their list of all-star reserves.
"I don't see how you couldn't include all four of them," one coach said. "All four of those guys are either the best or second-best player at their position in the East."
Added another coach, "The only one who might not get in is Ray, which would be a shame. He's one of the greatest shooters to ever play the game. And the crazy thing is, he's shooting the ball better now than he ever has. How is that guy not an All-Star?"
Well, the coaches will have their selections unveiled tonight.
For now, you get my picks on who should be All-Stars this season:
EASTERN CONFERENCEStarters (already selected by fans)
F - Amar'e Stoudemire, New York
F - LeBron James, Miami
C - Dwight Howard, Orlando
G - Derrick Rose, Chicago
G - Dwyane Wade, Miami
F - Kevin Garnett, Boston
F - Paul Pierce, Boston
C - Al Horford, Atlanta
G - Rajon Rondo, Boston
G - Joe Johnson, Atlanta
Util - Ray Allen, Boston
Util - Chris Bosh, Miami
WESTERN CONFERENCEStarters (already selected by fans)
F - Carmelo Anthony, Denver
F - Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
C - Yao Ming, Houston (injured; Commissioner David Stern will select his replacement)
G - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
G - Chris Paul, New Orleans
F - Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
F - LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland
C - Tyson Chandler, Dallas
G - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
G - Tony Parker, San Antonio
Util - Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Util - Manu Ginobili, San Antonio