The NBA announced the Eastern Conference reserves for the 2013 NBA All-Star game on Thursday night, and Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings missed the cut. Jrue Holiday likely took his spot, and the Sixers' lead guard will be joined in the Eastern reserves by Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Chris Bosh, and Tyson Chandler. Among the snubs are Brook Lopez and David West.
Fans voted for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony to represent the Eastern Conference as the five starters.
The seven reserve players in each conference were selected by the league's 30 head coaches -- while the 10 starters were determined by fan voting -- and if any player is unable to attend the game, commissioner David Stern will handle selecting his replacement.
Jennings may finally be hitting his stride as the lead man in Milwaukee's offense. He's posting 18.2 points and 5.6 assists per game -- up from his career averages of 17.9 points and 5.7 assists -- and a well-timed surge in efficiency has pushed his True Shooting percentage to a career-high mark of 51.5 percent. He arguably put up better numbers last season before the selection of All-Star reserves, but expectations changed this time around due to the Bucks' solid 22-18 record in a weak Eastern Conference.
The 23-year-old first round pick out of Oak Hill Academy high school has played 30+ minutes in 33 games this year, and he has scored in double digits 35 times over 40 starts. Jennings has also recorded four double-doubles on the year, as he's notched 10+ rebounds once and 10+ assists three times in the 2012-13 season.
The fourth-year guard from Compton, CA is a bit hit-or-miss on defense, and that's still the weakest area of his game. The Bucks have been outscored by 2.4 points per 100 possessions with Jennings on the floor this season, but only because the defense cedes 102.2 pts / 100 poss when he's in the game (up from the 93.5 pts / 100 poss when he's on the bench).
Brandon still does his part in helping the Bucks dictate pace and tempo. He ranks third in the NBA with 2.0 steals per game, and his disruptive defensive hands have allowed the Bucks to get out on the break (Bucks play at the fourth-fastest pace in the league) where he and Monta Ellis bump up their efficiency. It's probably a house bet to gamble for steals in the backcourt, but Larry Sanders has helped clean up a lot of messes on the back end of the Bucks' defense this season
Here's how Jennings stacked up against the other top guards who were in line for a reserve spot on the Eastern Conference roster:
Kyrie Irving | 23.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, 56.7 TS%, 22.2 PER | Cavaliers' record: 11-32
Jrue Holiday | 19.0 PPG, 9.0 AST, 52.2 TS%, 18.8 PER | 76ers' record: 17-25
Deron Williams | 17.0 PPG, 7.8 AST, 53.6 TS%, 18.3 PER | Nets' record: 26-16
Brandon Jennings | 18.7 PPG, 5.8 AST, 51.5 TS%, 17.5 PER | Bucks' record: 22-18
Dwyane Wade, Heat*
Rajon Rondo, Celtics*
LeBron James, Heat*
Carmelo Anthony, Knicks*
Kevin Garnett, Celtics*
Chris Paul, Clippers*
Kobe Bryant, Lakers*
Kevin Durant, Thunder*
Blake Griffin, Clippers*
Dwight Howard, Lakers*
Jrue Holiday, 76ers
Chris Bosh, Heat
Paul George, Pacers
Tyson Chandler, Knicks
Joakim Noah, Bulls
Luol Deng, Bulls
Kyrie Irving, Cavs
Tim Duncan, Spurs
Tony Parker, Spurs
LaMarcus Aldridge, Blazers
David Lee, Warriors
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
James Harden, Rockets
Zach Randolph, Grizzlies