Rajon Rondo Already Proving to Be All-Star Lock, With Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett as Likely Reserves

Rajon Rondo Already Proving to Be All-Star Lock, With Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett as Likely Reserves In a development that should surprise absolutely no one, the 2011 NBA All-Star ballot is jam-packed with Celtics.

All five of the C’s regular starters are featured on the Eastern Conference’s ballot for February’s exhibition, and how could they not be? They’re all past All-Stars, with a total of 49 selections among them, and they’re all among the biggest names in the game today.

The C’s starters are all in the conversation to head to Los Angeles this winter for All-Star weekend. So who makes the cut? Let’s break it down.

Point guard: Rajon Rondo

Why he might make it: Because he’s the best point guard in the East, hands down. Let’s not overthink this. Rondo leads the conference in assists per game with 14.3, and he’s second in steals with 2.4. He’s quarterbacking one of the league’s best offenses, and he’s carried the C’s to the top of the Eastern Conference. He’s in. End of story.

Why he might not: He gets run over by a bus between now and February. That’s pretty much the only way.

Shooting guard: Ray Allen

Why he might make it: He’s his same old reliable self, having another superb year shooting from beyond the arc (43.9 percent so far this season). Ray’s closing in on the all-time 3-point crown, and he deserves some respect for his tremendous career achievement.

Why he might not: Fans might be getting bored with Ray’s act — coming off screens, knocking down jumpers, getting back on defense, the routine gets old. The voters might opt for a younger, flashier choice instead.

Small forward: Paul Pierce

Why he might make it: Pierce has had a tremendous start as the star of the Celtics’ offense. He’s averaging 20.6 points per game, his best scoring average of the Big Three era, and he’s come up with big scoring spurts when the team has needed him. He’s a go-to offensive weapon.

Why he might not: He’s got LeBron James standing in his way. There’s been a lot of backlash against King James this calendar year, but he’s still the greatest talent in the game, and he’ll garner lots of All-Star love.

Power forward: Kevin Garnett

Why he might make it: KG has had a big resurgence this year as the healthy, explosive captain of the Celtics’ defense. He’s moving and communicating on D like he did in his prime, and he’s been an absolute beast on the glass. He deserves a nod for all his hard work.

Why he might not: He’s not the most popular guy in America right now. The Charlie Villanueva controversy did a number on his image, and he might not get the respect he’s used to this year.

Center: Shaquille O’Neal

Why he might make it: If nothing else, he’s got star power going for him. That, and he can still score in bunches with the limited minutes he gets.

Why he might not: Shaq’s a 15-time All-Star, but he’s also now 38 years old. His candidacy has seen better days.

The Celtics are guaranteed to have some representation at the Staples Center come February. Exactly how much, though, remains to be seen.

This analyst’s guess? Rondo is a lock, Pierce and Garnett are likely backups, and Allen is right there on the bubble. Shaq is a legend, but he’s got just an outside shot.

It’s up to the voters. They’ve got until Jan. 27 to decide.

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