Miami Heat

Does Chris Bosh Deserve to Be an All-Star Reserve?

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 20:  Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat at American Airlines Center on December 20, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2013

Despite a frantic weekend push from Miami Heat teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, along with team owner Micky Arison, Chris Bosh was not among the five starters on the Eastern Conference All-Star team announced on Thursday night.

Instead, Boston Celtics big man Kevin Garnett will round out the starting lineup for the East, edging out Bosh by just over 25,000 votes.

With 528,014 votes, Bosh received the most support of any player not selected by the fans in the conference. Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin garnered the most love from the fans among players who ultimately fell short in their starting bids (883,809 votes).

While the All-Star merits of Garnett are certainly up for debate, it's not as if Bosh had tallied a clear-cut All-Star resume of his own. His 17.5 points per game ranks third among the Heat and 27th in the NBA. His subpar rebounding totals (7.1) could have jumped off the page at fan voters, particularly considering Miami's team-wide struggles on the glass (the Heat rank 29th with 38.8 rebounds per game).

But now that we know he won't be joining James and Wade in the starting lineup, the question becomes whether he'll draw enough support from the coaches to be among the seven reserves who will be announced on Jan. 24.

His position on the club isn't the guarantee that the fan votes may suggest.

Bosh should be able to identify his competition.

Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith and Al Horford, Indiana Pacers Paul George and David West, New York Knick Tyson Chandler, Brooklyn Net Brook Lopez and Celtic Paul Pierce will all challenge Bosh for those coveted three frontcourt and two wild-card spots left up for grabs.

Lopez (18.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game) and Chandler (12.4 points on 67.3 percent shooting and 11 rebounds) appear likely destined for their own mid-February trips to Houston.

And given Indiana's 24-16 mark, it's hard to imagine them without All-Star representation. The versatile George (16.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists) may ultimately get the nod over West (16.5 points and 8.0 rebounds), given his ability to play either wing position.

The same can be said for the 22-15 Bulls, with viable candidacies from both Deng (17.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists) and Noah (12.4 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists). Position may once again prove the deciding factor. With three centers already on the roster, Deng gets the nod.

That leaves just one position for Bosh, Pierce, Smith and Horford.

Pierce has the name recognition, but that typically carries more weight among the fans. The Celtics' 20-18 record may leave the former Kansas Jayhawk an All-Star spectator for the first time since his injury-riddled 2006-07 season.

As for Smith and Horford, the Hawks duo may be doomed by the team's recent skid (3-7 in their last 10 games).

That leaves Bosh the final viable option for the coaches' votes.

And yes, it is a deserved nod at that.

Although his rebounding woes have been a frightening development for the nine-plus-year vet, his offensive proficiency is too hard to overlook.

If he weren't the designated third option (and he wouldn't be if he suited up for nearly any other team in the league), his production would be even more impressive. As it is, he's capitalizing on seemingly each one of his touches, posting a career-best 54.5 field-goal percentage.

He doesn't have the All-Star certainty afforded to James and Wade just yet, but it's safe to say he's leaving his calendar open for the weekend of Feb. 17.

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