Celtics Notebook: Kyrie Irving named All-Star starter

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The Celtics will have at least one representative in Charlotte for the All-Star game next month after Kyrie Irving was announced as a backcourt starter on Thursday night along with Kemba Walker. He'll be joined by Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid and top East vote getter Giannis Antetokounmpo as the starter representatives from the Eastern Conference.

It will be the sixth All-Star appearance for Irving in his eight NBA seasons and an easy election for the 26-year-old as he led East guards in fan, player, and media voting thanks to arguably his best all-around season to date.

The East starters will be joined in the draft pool by leading West vote getter LeBron James, Paul George and Kevin Durant in the frontcourt, with guards Steph Curry and James Harden in the backcourt. James and Antetokounmpo will be the team captains as they draft their teams in a TV special on the night of the trade deadline (Feb. 7).

All-Star reserves are voted on by the coaches and will be announced next Thursday. The odds of a second Celtic being selected would seem to be highly unlikely, although an additional spot will probably be available via injury replacement due to the unfortunate season-ending quad injury that Victor Oladipo suffered this past week. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris are the two names that will be considered for that spot, but any selection of either is highly unlikely amid a crowded field at the bottom of the East.