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Insider

Smith got hosed in All-Star selections

2/9/2010 - NBA

When it comes to critiquing Thursday's All-Star reserve selections, let's start with the positive: The coaches got it mostly right. In the Western Conference, they chose the six no-brainers and then made the defensible decision to add Pau Gasol over Chauncey Billups and Carlos Boozer. Billups should keep his cell phone handy; if Brandon Roy is unable to perform because of his nagging hamstring injury, one presumes he'll be chosen as the replacement.

In the East, they also made six strong choices. I would have gone with David Lee over Al Horford as the backup center, but I can understand Horford's case -- he has more defensive value, he's having a good season, and he seriously outplayed Lee in their three head-to-head meetings. And while Derrick Rose's full-season stats fall short of typical All-Star standards, he was so good over the last month and has such a clear reason for the subpar play beforehand (a preseason ankle injury) that I can't strenuously argue against his selection.