The NBA released the 2013 All-Star Game rosters on Thursday, and there are a few surprises among the 12 players who made the cut for the Eastern Conference. Head coaches from all 30 NBA teams selected the seven reserve players in each conference to supplement the 10 starting players voted in by the fans. If any player is injured or otherwise unable to attend the All-Star Game, commissioner David Stern will select the replacement.
Here are the selections for Eastern Conference reserves:
Kyrie Irving | 23.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, 56.7 TS%, 22.2 PER | Cavaliers' record: 11-32
Irving is the undisputed heart and soul of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but there's one problem: the Cavaliers aren't any good. Kryie has been given very little to work with in terms of surrounding talent, and big man Anderson Varejao is no longer around to help, so everything falls back on the second-year point guard out of Duke. Based on his individual accomplishments and his eye-popping talent, Irving was no-brainer selection if you don't hold Cleveland's team record against him.
Jrue Holiday | 19.0 PPG, 9.0 AST, 52.2 TS%, 18.8 PER | 76ers' record: 17-25
Holiday has emerged as the lead man on a Sixers team still waiting for big man Andrew Bynum to join the lineup. Holiday has posted career scoring numbers this season, but his most impressive improvement has come as a distributor and creator on offense. He ranks in the NBA's top five in assists per game.
Paul George | 17.3 PPG, 7.8 REB, 3.7 AST, 52.7 TS%, 17.4 PER | Pacers' record: 26-17
Geroge has stepped up big time with Danny Granger on the shelf. He's posting career highs in nearly every category, and he's assumed the lead role in the Pacers' offense. He's also a top-shelf perimeter defender in the NBA.
Luol Deng | 17.4 PPG, 6.4 REB, 3.0 AST, 52.4 TS%, 15.24 PER | Bulls' record: 25-16
Deng is leading the league in minutes per game and has helped put Chicago in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race without the services of star Derrick Rose this season. Deng has missed the Bulls' last three games with a right hamstring injury and has played the entire season with torn ligaments in his left wrist. This is Deng's second consecutive All-Star appearance.
Chris Bosh | 17.3 PPG, 7.2 REB, 1.7 AST, 60.6 TS%, 21.0 PER | Heat record: 27-12
Despite all the concern over lopsided rebounding differentials in Miami, Chris Bosh has been an excellent offensive option for Miami this season. Dwyane Wade has dropped off a bit in his efficiency, but Bosh is posting the highest True Shooting percentage of his career and his highest PER as a member of the Heat. He's been a top pick-and-pop option for LeBron James, and he clearly deserves to join his two teammates on the Eastern Conference roster.
Tyson Chandler | 12.2 PPG, 11.0 REB, 69.7 TS%, 21.4 PER | Knicks' record: 25-14
The coaches must like defense, tap-out offensive rebounds and hyper-efficient offense. Tyson Chandler has been excellent on both ends of the floor again this season, and he's managed to become one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA by playing within himself and waiting around for dunks and easy putbacks. He's the soul of the Knicks' defense, and he earns the offense a lot of easy points and extra opportunities as well.
Joakim Noah | 12.2 PPG, 10.9 REB, 51.4 TS%, 16.9 PER | Bulls' record: 25-16
Noah could be on his way to Defensive Player of the Year honors this season. He's been at the center of everything the Bulls do on defense, and he's also stepped up on offense with Derrick Rose still working to come back from his knee injury. Noah's passing skills open up better options on offense for an otherwise limited offense, and he changes games on the defensive end.
The starters for the Eastern Conference were announced last week, and there were no big surprises on that list. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat were joined by Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks in the starting five filled with star power and veteran talent.
Here's a look at the East roster, with starters signified by an asterisk:
Dwyane Wade, Heat*
Rajon Rondo, Celtics*
LeBron James, Heat*
Carmelo Anthony, Knicks*
Kevin Garnett, Celtics*
Jrue Holiday, 76ers
Chris Bosh, Heat
Paul George, Pacers
Tyson Chandler, Knicks
Joakim Noah, Bulls
Luol Deng, Bulls
Kyrie Irving, Cavs
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.