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Thursday, February 3, 2011
Carlisle: Picking reserves an arduous task

By Jeff Caplan

BOSTON -- Rick Carlisle didn't exactly enjoy selecting seven reserves for the Western Conference All-Star team.

"Hardest it’s ever been," Carlisle said. "By far."

Those seven reserves will be announced tonight. Dirk Nowitzki is considered a lock with center Tyson Chandler a long shot. If Chandler doesn't make his first All-Star squad he can't blame Carlisle. Coaches can't vote for their own players so it will be up to the other 14 West coaches to give Chandler the nod.

After the Dallas Mavericks' Thursday practice at Emerson College in Boston, Carlisle said he had no insight into how other coaches voted, but he said he thinks Chandler has a chance.

"No one ever knows [how the coaches vote] because we don’t know," Carlisle said. "We don’t see the tallies."

And Carlisle said he wasn't about to divulge his votes.

Each conference's coaches vote for that conference's reserves. They vote in order, one through seven, and then the player is assigned that number value. The points are added up and the top seven point totals are in. Coaches are allowed to change a player's position if it makes sense, such as voting Tim Duncan or Pau Gasol as a center to help alleviate the migraine-producing logjam at forward.

More than one deserving forward will be left off the team among a group that includes, but is not limited to, Nowitzki, Gasol, Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin.

"I would be shocked if it wasn’t very, very close a lot of years," Carlisle said. "But, this year in particular."