Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo were added to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team Thursday night.
The Celtics quartet was chosen by vote of the coaches, who select the reserves for both the Eastern and Western teams. While there could be some sour grapes around the league when Eastern Conference Coach Doc Rivers rolls out 80% of the C’s starting lineup at the Staples Center later this month, each of the four picks is defensible, given their individual contributions to arguably the best team in the league.
For Garnett, the all-star selection is his 14th straight. The Celtics Power Forward has returned to form in 2010-11 on both sides of the floor. He boasts a 21.59 PER, his best since the 07-08 season, and continues to spearhead the Celtics’ punishing defense, both tangibly and intangibly.
For Allen, who was not selected to the game last season, and Pierce, who was, the nods are their 10th and 9th respectively. Both Allen and Pierce are having superlative seasons shooting the ball. Allen is flirting with a 50-40-90 season and both he and Pierce are shooting career highs from the field and the 3-point arc.
Rondo’s second all-star appearance is built on his 12.5 assists/game, and elite ability to run an offense stocked with future hall-of-famers.
Joining the four Celtics on the east bench will be Al Horford and Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks, and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat.
In the western conference, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin makes his first all-star game in his first year in the league, along with San Antonio’s Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli, L.A.’s Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas, Russell Westbrook of OKC, and Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz.