With All-Star starters having been announced, attention now turns to the coaches who will name the reserves for the East and West squads. The Atlanta Hawks didn't register in the fan voting for the starters but have a worthy candidate in Paul Millsap to be named as a reserve.
CBS Sports' Matt Moore recognizes this as he included Millsap in his list of Eastern Conference reserves:
Paul Millsap, F, Atlanta Hawks -- Millsap has filled in Horford's production and helped keep the Hawks competitive without their best player.
Moore's colleagues, Zach Harper and Royce Young left Millsap off of their lists. Harper opted to go with Orlando's Arron Afflalo and Detroit's Andre Drummond. On Afflalo he writes:
Some people don't like guys on losing teams but what are you going to do in the East this season? He's scoring efficiently and playing well on a terrible team.
Harper's right, the East for the most part does stink this season. However, he completely overlooks a Hawks team that has been over .500 all season and is currently in third place in the Eastern Conference. Afflalo and Drummond are having wonderful seasons but their teams have struggled. Afflalo may well be worthy of an All-Star spot but not at the expense of a guy like Millsap.
Since Al Horford went down 12 games ago, Millsap has averaged 19.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks. He's averaging 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds on 47 percent shooting on the season. He's putting those numbers up on a team that is leading the league in assists and is the very definition of a team approach on the offensive end.
The Hawks enter Friday at 22-19 and in third place in the East. Drummond's Pistons are 17-25 and has lost seven of ten. Orlando is 11-31 and has lost 12 of 13. You can't justify taking Afflalo or Drummond by saying the East stinks when you overlook one of the teams that doesn't stink in the process.