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NBA All-Star Reserves To Be Announced Thursday, Celtics Figure To Be Prominently Involved

A week ago, the starters were announced for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, based on the final voting results. And when the league's play meet at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 20, there will not be any Boston Celtics in the starting lineup -- Derrick Rose managed to beat out Rajon Rondo for the guard position. 

Here are the full starting line-ups for each conference.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Guard: Derrick Rose, Bulls
Guard: Dwyane Wade, Heat
Forward: LeBron James, Heat
Forward: Amar'e Stoudemire, Knicks
Center: Dwight Howard, Magic

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Guard: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
Guard: Chris Paul, Hornets
Forward: Kevin Durant, Thunder
Forward: Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
Center: Yao Ming, Rockets

This doesn't mean All-Star weekend will be completely devoid of any Celtics, however. 

Thursday night, the NBA's coaches name seven players for their respective conference on a ballot: two guards, two forwards, one center, and two "wild cards" who can be of any position. The coaches are not allowed to vote for players on their own team, and they must assign each player on the ballot with a numerical ranking, 1 through 7, in case a tiebreaker is necessary.

The reserves will be revealed Thursday night at 7 p.m. EST, on TNT's "Inside the NBA," with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley.

An important note to consider on the Western Conference's roster: it gets get eight players, because of Yao Ming's injury. The original seven reserves will be named tonight, with Commissioner David Stern selecting an injury replacement for Yao in the near future. 

So who from Boston has a chance to make the All-Star team? WEEI's Paul Flannery makes the case for four players, something that has only happened eight other times, and just twice since 1983. Flannery says the first three are easy -- Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce

Rajon Rondo leads the league in assists per game and has continued his development as coach Doc Rivers' extended brain on the floor ... Garnett, meanwhile, has returned to his 2007-08 form and reclaimed his turf as a dominant defensive rebounder and defender ... Paul Pierce is another no-brainer. He's having one of his most efficient seasons as his shooting numbers are up and his turnovers are way down. 

Which would mean the fourth Celtics representative would have to be Ray Allen

The case for Allen is simple: At age 35, he may be having the best shooting season of his career. He's shooting a career-best from the floor (51 percent) and behind the arc, where he's making 46 percent of his 3-pointers. (In a weird twist, his 86 percent free throw shooting is his worst since his rookie season.) Perhaps even more impressively, he has played every game and is averaging 36 minutes a night.

FInd out just how many of the Boston Celtics will be selected as NBA All-Star Game reserves Thursday night at 7 p.m. on TNT.