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Utah Jazz: Bad All-Star news for Boozer

Published: Thursday, Jan. 28 2010 9:56 a.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Some more discouraging All-Star news for Carlos Boozer.

The official announcement is scheduled for tonight on TNT, but the secret has slipped out on two Western Conference players who've apparently been named as All-Star backups.

Late Wednesday night, the (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported that Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph has been voted in by the NBA head coaches as a reserve.

If that weren't damaging enough to Boozer's cause, a report this morning might be considered a final blow. Spanish Web site, Marca.com, is claiming the Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol will also be one of the just seven reserves.

Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki are considered no-brainer additions to the All-Star team, which would only leave three spots remaining.

And two of those All-Stars must be guards, which means Deron Williams seems to have a much better chance than his teammate of making the star-studded squad.

Williams, however, is in the running with the likes of Chris Paul, Brandon Roy, Chauncey Billups, Aaron Brooks and Monta Ellis, so his inclusion is no gimme.

Then there's the whole issue of one center needing to be among the reserve selections, further complicating Boozer's bid to become a third-time All-Star. Chris Kaman, Nene, Andrew Bynum and Marc Gasol are among the likely candidates to fill that center spot.

Boozer has bigger things to worry about today, though.

The power forward strained his right calf during the third quarter of Utah's 106-95 win at Portland on Wednesday night, and is scheduled to be evaluated this morning and have an MRI taken this afternoon in Utah.

For now, Boozer's status for Friday's home game against the Sacramento Kings remains up in the air. The Jazz do know, however, that Williams will not play. He is traveling from Oregon to West Virginia today to be with his family for his uncle's funeral on Friday.

e-mail: jody@desnews.com

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