Knicks' Tyson Chandler chosen as All-Star reserve; Nets shut out
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Tyson Chandler can add another accomplishment to his growing list: All-Star.
The Knicks center was named one of the Eastern Conference's All-Star reserves by the coaches Thursday night, the only player from either New York team to get that honor. Despite having the third-best record in the conference, the Nets were shut out.
Said Chandler, "I'm just very thankful. Thankful first for my teammates for putting me in the position to make the team and obviously the coaches. It says a lot to be voted in by the coaches bcause it means they appreciate your talent and what you bring to the team.''
Did he expect to make it? "You never know with those things," Chandler said. "I felt like I was going to be an All-Star last year. I felt like I had a shot in Dallas. In years past, we had the No. 1 record in the West when I was with New Orleans, so I felt like I was an All-Star then. So I honestly don't really get my hopes up."
Chandler, who will play in the Feb. 17 game in Houston with Carmelo Anthony, is one of five first-time Eastern Conference All-Stars, joining Indiana's Paul George, Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving and Chicago's Joakim Noah. Miami's Chris Bosh and Chicago's Luol Deng complete the East reserves.
In the Western Conference, San Antonio's Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, Houston's James Harden, Golden State's David Lee, Memphis' Zach Randolph and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook were chosen.
Chandler entered Thursday night averaging a career-high 12.2 points to go with 11.0 rebounds per game. Mike Woodson, speaking before the selections were announced, said he hoped he would be among those named.
"He's played well enough to be an All-Star," he said. "We've been at the top of our division all year and he's been a big part of us being there. His play, statistic-wise, has been pretty good. He's a double-double guy."
The Nets were the only one of 10 teams with a winning percentage of at least .600 without an All-Star. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson were certain the Nets would have at least one player make it, and didn't even entertain the notion they wouldn't have a representative. "I don't see that happening," Williams said.
Brook Lopez was thought to be the Nets' top candidate. His team-high 18.6-point average is best among centers and he's the lone player in the league who's averaging at least 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
Someone probably had to knock on Lopez's hotel room door here Thursday night and inform him of the disappointing news. The 7-footer said Wednesday that he wouldn't be tuning in to see if he made it. "You know I don't watch any of that stuff," Lopez said. "I'll probably be sitting in my room with the lights turned off doing nothing."
Johnson, who's averaging 19.7 points this month, had been selected to the All-Star Game six straight times and thought he might be in line to keep it going.
Of the Nets' Big Three, Williams was the long shot to make it after his rough start, which helped get Avery Johnson fired in December. Williams didn't play at an All-Star level until the last few weeks.
With Al Iannazzone