Nowitzki, Pierce highlight All-Star reserves
New York, NY – The Dallas Mavericks may not be matching caliber performance from last season, but Dirk Nowitzki is Star team.
Nowitzki, 33, will make his 11th career All-Star appearance at Orlando's Amway Center on February 26th. The 2011 Finals Most Valuable Player has averaged 17.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 31.9 minutes this season for Dallas.
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, Memphis' Marc Gasol, Phoenix's Steve Nash, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, Minnesota's Kevin Love and San Antonio's Tony Parker were also selected as Western Conference reserves by the coaches.
It is the eighth All-Star selection for Nash in this his 16th season. He is averaging a double-double with 15.1 points to go with 10.0 assists on the year thus far.
Parker will make his fourth All-Star appearance since he entered the NBA with the Spurs in 2001-02. His 18.9 points per game average leads San Antonio and his 7.7 assists per game are a career-high. Love is making his second consecutive appearance on the back of 25.0 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. Westbrook is also making his second appearance.
Aldridge and Gasol both received their first All-Star selection. Aldridge ranks fifth in the league in scoring with a career-best 23.3 points per game while Gasol has career bests in points (15.0) and rebounds (10.2) per game.
The Eastern Conference reserves are led by Paul Pierce, fresh off passing Celtics' legend Larry Bird for No. 2 on the team's all-time scoring list. He will be making his 10th All-Star appearance (five consecutively).
Pierce is joined on the East bench by Atlanta's Joe Johnson, New Jersey's Deron Williams, Chicago's Luol Deng, Miami's Chris Bosh, Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala, and Indiana's Roy Hibbert.
Bosh was named to his seventh All-Star team, all consecutively. The Miami big man is scoring 19.2 points per game this season. Johnson was selected for his sixth consecutive All-Star game with Atlanta, the longest such streak for the Hawks since Hall-of-Fame forward Dominique Wilkins was named to nine straight from 1986-94.
Williams, selected for the third time, is averaging team-highs with 20.9 points and 8.6 assists per game for the Nets.
The East also has three first-time All-Stars in Deng, Iguodala, and Hibbert. Deng has dropped 16.0 points per game while averaging a career-high 7.3 rebounds per contest. Iguodala has been a key element in the Sixers' balanced attack this season, and has averaged a career-best 6.7 boards per game to go with 13.0 points. Hibbert is averaging career-highs in points (13.6) and rebounds (9.9) this season.