NBA All-Star reserves picks: Damian Lillard a lock, but the rest not so easy

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Julius Randle is one of a few potential NBA All-Star surprises

Picking NBA All-Star starters is easy.

Selecting the reserves is difficult, and it’s up to NBA coaches to make the decisions.

When the 2021 All-Star reserves are announced Tuesday on TNT, worthy players will be rewarded for the seasons they are having. We see you Damian Lillard.

Also, players who are having All-Star seasons won’t be named to the team because it becomes a numbers crunch. Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris and Mike Conley could be left out.

For the Western and Eastern conference reserves, coaches pick two backcourt players, three in the frontcourt and two wildcards.

USA TODAY NBA writers Jeff Zillgitt and Mark Medina select their reserves:

Damian Lillard (0) and Donovan Mitchell are likely shoo-ins to make the All-Star team as reserves.

Eastern Conference reserves


Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics: Brown didn’t have a lot of time to work on his game between the bubble and the start of this season, but steady improvement is noticeable. He’s averaging a career-high in points (25.5) by more than five points above his previous high, a career-high in assists (3.9) and shooting career-bests from the field (49.7%) and on 3-pointers (40.9%). This would be his first All-Star appearance.

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