Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has preached a message of unity all throughout the Big Three era, stressing that each player will need to leave his ego at the door and put the team first in order to win a championship.
As a result, the individual numbers of the Celtics' star players, namely Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, have suffered at points.
Yet this year, the fans and league have decided to reward their selfless efforts by selecting each of them to the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angles, California (Sunday, February 20th, 8 p.m. EST; TV: TNT).
While the numbers for Pierce, Garnett and Allen this season aren't as impressive as they used to be, that doesn't mean that they aren't deserving of their all-star bids.
Pierce leads the team in scoring with 18.8 points and is averaging five rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest while shooting at a 49.8% clip this season.Garnett averages 14.9 points and a team-best nine rebounds while Allen averages 17.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and is shooting 50.2% from the floor and 45.7% from three-point range.
Rondo is in a different class, mostly because of his prolific passing ability. While only averaging 10.9 points, Rondo leads the league in assists (12.2 APG) and averages 2.4 steals and 4.4 rebounds per game.
None of the Celtics' Big Four are in the All-Star game starting lineup, but they will certainly see some playing time, considering that the coach of the Eastern Conference All-Stars in none other than Rivers. By that same logic, don't expect to see too much of them, either, as I'm sure Rivers will want his players to be rested when they return to action on Tuesday night against Golden State in California.
The starting lineup for the Eastern Conference includes the Miami Heat's LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant, New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, Durant, Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony and Houston Rockets center Yao Ming were voted in as the Western Conference All-Star starters. However, San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan will start in place of Yao, who is out for the rest of the season with an injury.