Tyson Chandler can't crack West roster

Updated: February 4, 2011, 8:01 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

NEW YORK -- If Tyson Chandler is to return home to Los Angeles as a first-time All-Star he's going to need a little help from the commissioner.

The reserves for the Western and Eastern Conference All-Star teams were announced Thursday evening and the Dallas Mavericks' 7-foot-1 starting center didn't make the cut among a loaded field in the West that promised to leave more than one deserving candidate disappointed.

"I felt the only thing I could do is put myself in this situation to be considered," Chandler said. "Just to be considered is a great honor. But my goal is to always help my team win, whatever that may be. Whether it's scoring, rebounding, defending, doing the little things, whatever it takes. I felt like I accomplished that. And that's all I can do."

As expected, Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki did make the team, his 10th consecutive appointment. He joins forwards Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol and rookie Blake Griffin, as well as guards Russell Westbrook, Manu Ginobili and Deron Williams.

Chandler figured to have a shot because the center position in the West was not particularly strong. However, an overload of candidates at the forward and guard positions ultimately pushed Chandler out. Also left off the team were forwards Kevin Love and Seagoville product LaMarcus Aldridge, as well as guard Steve Nash.

"He's one of four or five guys that were absolutely deserving of being All-Stars, but because it is such a potent year in the West there are only so many spots," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Tyson, this guy, that guy and this other guy were all deserving based on what they're doing for their teams, their statistics and their overall play. But this year in the West it was a hard ticket."

Nowitzki, coming off his best performance Wednesday night at New York -- with 29 points and 11 rebounds -- since returning from a sprained right knee 10 games ago, still could have company when he heads to L.A. for All-Star Weekend on Feb. 18-20.

NBA commissioner David Stern will make a "Commissioner's Selection" to replace injured center Yao Ming, who was voted a starter by the fans. Chandler will be a long shot on a healthy list for that honor among a group that will likely include Nowitzki's old buddy Nash and Tony Parker, as well as Love and Aldridge.

"My goal coming here was to make an impact on the team and change the culture of the team," Chandler said. "And although I feel like we're not completely there, we're headed in the right direction. So I feel like we've done a good job so far."

In 39 games, Nowitzki is averaging a team-high 23.2 points and 6.9 rebounds in his 13th season, leading the Mavs to the West's third-best record at 33-15 despite missing a career-high nine games due to injury with a sprained right knee.

Nowitzki is shooting a career-best 52.5 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range. Wednesday night at New York, Nowitzki became the 24th player in league history to record 22,000 career points. In December, he passed Larry Bird and Gary Payton to move into 24th on the NBA's all-time scoring list, and he currently ranks fourth among active players in career scoring behind Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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