The Western Conference has been absolutely loaded with a stellar cast of guards this year, and it appeared as if these circumstances might keep Lillard out of the game. However, the coaches (who select the game’s reserves) thought differently, and rewarded Lillard with an All-Star berth in only the second year of his fledgling career.
Damian Lillard is averaging 20.6 points and 5.6 assists per game, while serving as one of the team’s anchors along with LaMarcus Aldridge. For his part, Aldridge is averaging 24.3 points and 11.6 rebounds per game (both fifth in the league). Together, the two have led Portland to a 33-13 record, tied for second best in the Western Conference and third best in the league..
The Blazers pair will be joined on the Western Conference team by Chris Paul, Tony Parker, James Harden, Dwight Howard, and Dirk Nowitzki. The Eastern Conference team will be rounded out by John Wall, Joe Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Paul Millsap, Roy Hibbert, Chris Bosh, and Joakim Noah.
While rosters are now essentially set, there is still one small wrinkle. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who was fan-voted in as a starter, will almost assuredly not be able to play in the game. News broke yesterday that he will be out at least three more weeks, which pushes him past the date of the All-Star Game. As discussed before, this will lead to an interesting decision for new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who will fill Bryant’s vacated slot at his discretion.
All-Star Weekend will take place this year in New Orleans, from February 14th – 16th. The All-Star Game itself is scheduled for Sunday, February 16th at 5:00 p.m. PST on TNT.