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Damian Lillard is the Biggest All-Star Snub

After all the All-Star starters and reserves were announced for both conferences, Damian Lillard is the biggest All-Star Snub to not be invited to Toronto.

This year’s All-Star starters and reserves have all been announced, leaving fans to speculate who was snubbed from being selected to go to Toronto, Canada on February 14. The coaches were relatively accurate in choosing who they felt deserved the honor; however, they left out a few major players who have been extremely productive for their teams. Veteran forward Dirk Nowitzki is still producing for the Mavericks more than a decade after being drafted, Nicolas Batum has made major individual strides transitioning from role player to integral playmaker, and Al Holford is the star of the Atlanta Hawks; who haven’t missed a beat sitting at third in the Eastern Conference. Even with all these commendable options, Damian Lillard is the biggest All-Star snub of the the 2015-2016 season.

Damian Lillard is the only member left of the 2014-2015 starting lineup for the Portland Trailblazers. Wesley Matthews, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Robin Lopez all either signed with new teams or were traded away; thus leaving Lillard by his lonesome. A new starting lineup has been formed consisting of former sixth man C.J McCollum, defensive-forward Al-Farouq Aminu, high upside forward Noah Vonleh, rebounding center Mason Plumlee, and of course Damian Lillard. A season after reaching the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs, the Blazers now send out a starting five that isn’t as impressive as the season prior. However, the Blazers are somehow currently one game out of the 8th seed and have a fantastic chance at making it into the playoffs.

While the Blazers may not get far if they reach the postseason, Lillard is leading the Blazers to a phenomenal first half that not many could have predicted. Before the season, the Blazers were ranked only a spot above the putrid Philadelphia 76ers by ESPN. At this point, 44 games into the season, Portland is 17 wins ahead of the 76ers; so ESPN’s logarithms were obviously quite flawed.

With the current Blazers roster, they should be in contention for a high lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but they are proving the NBA wrong with their impressive performance thus far. At the forefront of their success is Lillard, who is having a career season in several statistical categories. He is shooting better from three than last season at 36%, averaging a career-high 24.1 ppg, and surprisingly averaging a career-high 7.3 apg. With such improvements, it’s perplexing as to why he was left off of the All-Star roster. It can even be argued that Lillard deserves the honor this season more than he did last season. He has taken the burden of being the leader of the Blazers and done very well in that position.

It’s difficult to decide who would be bumped off from the Western Conference team in order to insert Lillard into the lineup; however, he is worthy of the spot. Perhaps Anthony Davis would be the player to not be selected, since he is having a lackluster season in his standards and his team is not living up their full potential, currently sitting at twelfth in their conference. He’s experiencing a career-low in efficiency, his lowest block total per game since his rookie season, and his highest turnover percentage since his rookie season. Lillard is assisting in his franchise exceeding expectations, while Davis and the Pelicans have regressed from their postseason berth the season prior. In terms of which 2012 lottery draft pick to pick for this year’s All-Star Game, it should have been Lillard and not Davis.

Unless he is inserted into the All-Star Game through an injury of some sort, similar to last season, Damian Lillard will remain this year’s biggest All-Star snub.


Main Photo: NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 07:  Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)


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