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NBA All-Star reserves named tonight: Can Wolves get three spots?

For the last several weeks, the Timberwolves had been pushing their fans to vote for three of their players in the All-Star Game: Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns.

When the All-Star starters were announced last week, those three were predictably left off the list. (Fan voting accounts for 50% of the selection for starters.)

The way those three would get in is on the second round of voting, which is done by the coaches, with the league announcing those results Thursday night. (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic are the West's starters.)

"I think we have three All-Star level players for sure," coach Chris Finch said. "I hope that we're able to be recognized for the work that they've done, but we'll see."

It's hard to predict how this will break for the Wolves, but of those three, Edwards seems like the safest bet. Edwards is sixth in points per game among guards in the West at 25.5 points per game, and in selecting All-Stars, winning tends to matter.

Edwards should get a boost from the Wolves being the top team in the Western Conference and the fact that he's the player opposing defenses look to stop first. Along with Golden State's Stephen Curry, Edwards seems like the lock for one of the remaining guard spots, with Sacramento's De'Aaron Fox and Phoenix's Devin Booker on the bubble for spots.

Over in the frontcourt, the Wolves could still get two in, but it's hard for one team to garner three of the 12 All-Star spots, even when it is the top team in the conference.

"All-Star could go a lot of different ways I've seen in my career with the voting and being announced, getting in and out," Towns said after Wednesday's win over Dallas. "I'm happy about today. We're No. 1 in the West. We got a good win today. We're finding ourselves in a really good position in the season. I think that should be the main focus and happiness we find in the season."

This race is tougher to handicap. Gobert is the anchor of the No. 1 defense in the league, and he has earned three All-Star appearances, from 2020-2022, on the back of his defense. Gobert currently leads the league in defensive win shares, according to Basketball Reference. Because this is the coaches voting, they might appreciate Gobert's defense more than fans might.

The defensive win shares statistic contains some team elements in how it's tabulated, so it's not surprising that a lot of Wolves rank highly in that metric. What might be surprising is that Towns ranks No. 2.

Towns has compiled a very solid All-Star résumé, one that has gotten him in the game in previous years. He's averaging 22.6 points per game on a very efficient offensive game (52% shooting overall, 44% from three-point range and 87% free-throw shooting).

Towns has made the All-Star team three previous times, 2018, 2019 and 2022. His true-shooting percentage, which weighs threes and free throws, of 64% is higher than two of the years he was an All-Star.

But it's just a crowded field in the Western Conference frontcourt considering the Clippers' recent surge is likely to carry both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George into the field. The Lakers' Anthony Davis would also be tough to leave out, despite their struggles.

There's still one more way the Wolves could be represented in the All-Star Game: coach Chris Finch and his staff.

"The work he put in … what the organization has become since he's been here, that'd be big for him," guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker said. "We know we have All-Stars in Ant and Rudy and all those guys. It would be great to say we have an All-Star coach as well. That would be big. Lock in and do what we gotta do to make sure we get him there."

If the Wolves are No. 1 in the West when the league cutoff occurs for selections (and the team wasn't sure as of Wednesday night when that cutoff would be), Finch would be the All-Star Game coach for the Western Conference. Finch could still get in if the Nuggets finish first and the Wolves were second, because the Nuggets staff coached in last season's game and the league doesn't allow a repeat of coaching staffs.

"It'd be a heck of an honor for sure, for myself, for the organization," Finch said. "But it'd also be just like any other individual accolade. It's a reflection of the success the team's having, which is the most important thing right now."