Tonight's game on TNT between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers not only features a matchup of the teams with the two best records in the Western Conference, but also is a showcase for four Western Conference All-Stars. Earlier tonight on TNT, the NBA All-Star reserves were announced, including Pau Gasol of the Lakers, and Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili of the Spurs. Those three will join starter Kobe Bryant on the Western Conference All-Star team at Staples Center on Sunday, February 20.
Gasol, who is averaging 18.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this season, was selected to his third straight All-Star game, all as a reserve. There will be a roster replacement for the injured Yao Ming, who was voted to start at center for the West, announced soon by commissioner David Stern, but Gasol is a candidate to step in for Yao in the starting lineup, especially considering that Gasol has started 32 games at center this season, in place of Andrew Bynum.
Bryant was the leading vote getter in the NBA this season, and was elected to start the All-Star game for the 13th straight season. Kobe missed last year's game with a sprained left ankle.
Duncan is averaging career lows in points (13.6 per game) and rebounds (9.4 per contest), but made his 13th consecutive All-Star team. However, this is the first time since Duncan's rookie season that he isn't starting the All-Star game. Ginobili, who came of the bench for the majority of the last four seasons, has started all 48 games this season for San Antonio, averaging 18.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. This is his second All-Star selection, and first since 2005.
For more news on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.