Rondo injury leaves an All-Star vacancy

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, voted by fans to start for the Eastern Conference All-Stars, will have surgery to repair a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

Not only does Rondo's injury weaken one of Brooklyn's division rivals, it opens the door for one of the Nets to possibly play in the All-Star Game on Feb. 17 in Houston.

NBA commissioner David Stern will select Rondo's replacement on the East roster.

Nets center Brook Lopez is regarded by many to be the most glaring omission among East reserves, as selected by the conference's head coaches. Lopez is averaging 18.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, and is shooting 52 percent from the field.

Stern, however, might have to select a guard to replace Rondo. The East's backup guards are Cleveland's Kyrie Irving and Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday. One of them would move into Rondo's starting spot, leaving just one reserve guard.

That could mean a trip to Houston for one of the Nets' starting guards, Deron Williams (17.1 PPG and 7.8 APG) or Joe Johnson (17.2 PPG).

Another candidate is Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings, who is averaging 18.6 points and six assists. Hawks forward Josh Smith, averaging 16.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks, is also having a big season.