Is Pierce an All-Star?

Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports

Paul Pierce has made a case to be an All-Star reserve with his play this season.Is Paul Pierce an All-Star?

This probably isn't the best time to ask, what with Pierce mired in a shooting slump and coach Doc Rivers calling out his team amidst a three-game losing streak. But All-Star reserves will be announced on Thursday night before the Celtics host the Knicks on TNT and there's a lot of support for Pierce out there. It starts with his All-Star-bound teammates.

"I'm a little bit biased, but without Paul we wouldn't be where we are right now," said All-Star starter Rajon Rondo. "He's been Mr. Consistent and he's brought it every night for us and he's always carried the load of scoring, which we need at times, so I would definitely consider Paul as well."

Kevin Garnett, a fan-voted starter headed to his 15th All-Star game appearance, was even more blunt: "Absolutely, Paul deserves it more than I do."

Pierce's numbers are right on par with last season when he was an All-Star. A comparison of his stats through 40 games this year and overall last season:

In his Weekend Dime, colleague Marc Stein puts Pierce on his East reserves:

The choice here, though, is Pierce. The Celts' captain simply has to be in Houston, even though that would give Boston one more All-Star than it realistically deserves, because he's been the most productive, reliable and most versatile Celt yet again. The more I think about it, actually, I can really see East coaches invoking the whole do-what's-most-advantageous edict mentioned at the top to sneak Pierce in as one of their two guards, thus making up for the slim pickings at that position and, rather ironically in the Year of the Centerless Ballot, opening up a slot for another big man.

Your turn: Is Pierce an All-Star? Will the fact that a .500 Boston team already has two fan-voted All-Star starters work against Pierce? Sound off in the comments.