- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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If the Knicks want to get three on the team this year, they will need the Eastern Conference coaches to vote in two Knicks to join Carmelo Anthony in Houston on Feb. 17.
Below, we break down the situation surrounding each player and offer a prediction on the coaches’ vote. The reserves will be announced on Thursday.
The situation: Somehow, the Knicks center has never been to an All-Star game. He has put up All-Star numbers this year, leading the NBA in field goal percentage (67 percent) and putting up 12.4 points, 11 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
Interestingly, Chandler is fourth among Eastern Conference centers in player efficiency rating, a metric created by John Hollinger to measure a player’s per-minute production. Brook Lopez, Andre Drummond and Anderson Varejo are in front of him. Lopez is the only candidate for voters, though. (Drummond doesn’t start, and Varejo is hurt.)
The prediction: Chandler gets the nod, based on what he’s done this season and because the 11-year veteran and two-time Olympian has never been an All-Star.
The situation: You can make an argument that Smith is the most valuable Knick not named Carmelo Anthony, given the team's reliance on Smith with Anthony out. (Chandler and Jason Kidd would also be in the conversation.)
Smith has scored when the Knicks needed it -- a five-game stretch of 20-plus points in January comes to mind -- and has rebounded, shared the ball and been fantastic on defense.
But is it enough to get voted into the All-Star game? (Smith is not on the official ballot, but coaches can still vote him in.)
Smith may be hurt because he’s not a starter, and because he has had some poor shooting nights.
The prediction: I think Smith deserves to be an All-Star, but I don’t see the coaches voting him in.
He has a strong PER (16.17, sixth among Eastern Conference shooting guards). But the coaches may lean toward Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holliday. Each ballot from the East coaches must have two guards, three front-court players and two wild cards. Maybe Smith gets in as a wild card, but there are others (Paul George, Brook Lopez, Josh Smith) with strong candidacies.
Question: Do you think Chandler and Smith deserve to be voted in as All-Star reserves?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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12dKevin Pelton and Chad Ford