Four of the five starters for the Western Conference play in Los Angeles, so the NBA's announcement of the Western Conference reserves for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game roster is a welcome one for other teams around the league. With so many stars at every position, the battle to make the squad was awfully close.
In the end, here are your 2013 Western Conference All-Star reserves:
For those curious as to how Harden would respond to an early-season trade that saw his role change dramatically, he answered those questions with on-court production. The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year is flourishing as a starter, averaging career highs of 25.9 points, 5.4 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game.
If Chris Paul wasn't posting elite numbers, Westbrook would be a clear-cut starter for the Western Conference. The 24-year-old is one of the most athletic players in the league, but he doesn't come without substance. He averages 22.7 points, 8.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds this season. As far as intangibles go, he's shown maturity on the floor and embraced his role as a leader.
Parker has been great this season. He's scoring the ball with incredible efficiency and directing a potent Spurs offense amid another strong push toward the top of the Western Conference standings. Parker posted a career-high 58.4 True Shooting percentage in 2005-06, and he's close to surpassing that mark this season (58.0 TS%).
LaMarcus Aldridge | 20.7 PPG, 8.8 REB, 49.8 TS%, 19.2 PER | Blazers' record: 21-21
The Portland Trail Blazers' seventh-year big man out of Texas will make his second consecutive appearance after making the team as a first-timer in 2012. This season, his points-per-game average is down from last year, but he's stepped things up in other areas, and he's still a prime offensive option in Rip City.
Tim Duncan | 17.5 PPG, 9.8 REB, 2.8 AST, 2.7 BLK, 55.6 TS%, 24.9 PER | Spurs' record: 34-11
The Big Fundamental has turned back the clock in 2012-13 and returns to the All-Star Game after missing out on a bid to play in his 14th straight contest a season ago. He's deserving in 2013, and not a charity case, posting averages of 17.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per contest on a powerful Spurs team.
David Lee | 19.6 PPG, 10.8 REB, 3.7 AST, 56.1 TS%, 19.6 PER | Warriors' record: 26-15
Lee has been downright terrific for Golden State this season. Not only is he scoring the ball well and creating mismatches on the offensive end of the floor, he has also managed to shore up some of his defensive deficiencies that had held him back in the past. The Warriors are playing excellent ball when he's on the floor, and that's a big step up for a guy that used to look a bit overrated in advanced stat models. Lee is playing some of the best basketball of his career.
Everyone on the Grizzlies deserves a gold star this season, but Randolph may be the best All-Star candidate of the bunch. He has posted a double-double in 27 games this year, and he's among the team leader in minutes played. Randolph adds another dimension to the Grizzlies' offense when he's in the game, and opponents haven't been able to stop him so far this year.
Stephen Curry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka did not make it, among others.
Here is a complete look at the 2013 Western Conference All-Star roster, with starters noted by an asterisk.
Chris Paul, Clippers*
Kobe Bryant, Lakers*
Kevin Durant, Thunder*
Blake Griffin, Clippers*
Dwight Howard, Lakers*
Tim Duncan, Spurs
Tony Parker, Spurs
LaMarcus Aldridge, Blazers
David Lee, Warriors
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
James Harden, Rockets
Zach Randolph, Grizlies
The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played in Houston, and the game will be aired on TNT at 8:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 17.