Found February 02, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
All-Star snub? The 2012-13 NBA season has seen all sorts of surprises, and while Damian Lillard was supposed to be good, few saw him being this good this fast for the Portland Trail Blazers. The NBA recently released its All-Star rosters, and while the absence of Damian Lillard is understandable considering his first-year status, the league made a huge mistake depriving the fans of what they truly want to see. Lillard was pushing to become the first rookie guard to make the game since Michael Jordan. He’s the favorite to win Rookie of the Year through the first half of the season, and it’s clear why fans around the league would want to see him alongside the best players that the NBA has to offer. Damian Lillard should be joining LaMarcus Aldridge for All-Star Weekend. Position-less Roster Every NBA roster needs both bigs and smalls. Without a center, you stand no chance inside, and without a point guard, you lack the one player who can set up the offense throughout the course of a game—unless you’re the Miami Heat, of course. But an All-Star roster doesn’t have to have an even amount of players at each position, as most players end up playing out of position at some point anyway. The Association has become a point guard’s game, so adding another floor general to the court would have only helped increase interest both across the nation and in the Pacific Northwest. All-Star Style The NBA loves young, athletic point guards. This is why Lillard has been invited to participate in both the Rising Stars and Skills Challenge competitions, and this is exactly why the league should have gone one step further and put him in the big game. CSN @chrisbhaynes learned that @dame_lillard has been invited to participate in NBA Skills Challenge, plans to accept csnnw.com/blog/blazers-t… — Comcast SportsNet NW (@CSNNW) February 2, 2013 When you think of All-Star games, you don’t think of X’s and O’s; you think of fast competition without much defense. Could anything sound more up Lillard’s alley? It can be argued that Lillard takes a few too many three’s as a rookie, but isn’t that exactly what we want out of our All-Stars? We want players who make the exciting plays, and that’s exactly what Lillard gives us night in and night out. Pure Entertainment Whether it’s finishing at the rim or firing from long range, Lillard is arguably the most exciting player to watch on a young Portland roster. When selecting an All-Star team, you certainly want to reward the best players for playing well. However, you also want to give the fans what they want, and as the NBA has transitioned into a little man’s game, it’s clear that the fans want point guards. Portland’s last perennial All-Star, Brandon Roy, was exciting to watch in the half court. He could run the isolation game like few others in the league, and he knew how to take over a game when his team needed it most. Lillard can do these things, too—and so much more. His style of play caters to the fast-break game much more effectively than Roy’s did. All-Star games are up-tempo with lots of dunks, three-pointers and unforeseeable passes—all things Lillard does well. Standout Season Lillard may be a rookie, but he’s hasn’t looked like it yet this season. The point guard out of Weber State is putting up the kind of numbers you see from the league’s elite players; but then again, who’s to say he’s not already in the elite category? Damian Lillard scored a career-high 37 points earlier this season. (Photo: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports) At just 22 years old, Lillard is averaging 18.3 points, 6.5 assists and has a PER of 16.31. He’s in the top 15 in the first two categories, and his career-high 37 points is tied for the eighth-most scored by a players this season. The point guard is also shooting the ball from long range at 35.8 percent, which makes him a viable option to launch from deep on any given possession. But with Lillard, it’s not just about the numbers. He plays with a poise on the floor that screams ‘veteran point guard.’ He can run an offense, he can take over late and he can find his teammates in both half-court and transition situations. Imagine what he could do with Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin on his side. So Why Was He Left Out? The truth is that even though the All-Star teams are made up of position-less rosters, there is a bit of a logjam when it comes to Western Conference point guards. Chris Paul is easily the best in the conference—if not the league—and Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker are both having arguably the best seasons of their careers. Even Stephen Curry, who was not elected to the team, would have likely been the next one in, pushing Lillard further away from the competition. Lillard is deserving, but you can’t just look at him—you have to look at everyone. But seeing as how deserving Lillard is, that’s an indication of how many All-Star games are to come for the young point guard. The future is bright for Lillard, and even though he’s not an All-Star just yet, he’ll have plenty throughout his career as long as he continues playing at a high level for years to come. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Report: Damian Lillard Invited To Participate In Skills Challenge At All-Star Weekend

Leading all rookies in scoring (18.3 per game), assists (6.5 per game) and 3-pointers made (105), Blazers point guard Damian Lillard earned his 3rd straight Rookie of the Month award on Friday – so it’s comes as no surprise that the rookie standout has been invited participate in the NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge in Houston this month: According to Chris Haynes, CSNNW...

Trail Blazers 105, Jazz 99

Damian Lillard had 23 points and the Portland Trail Blazers got revenge for a loss to Utah the night before with a 105-99 victory Saturday night. Utah defeated the Blazers 86-77 on Friday night in the first game of the back-to-back between the division rivals. J.J. Hickson added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won four of their last six after a season-high six...

Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and preview

Home-and-home, again. The Portland Trail Blazers split a home-and-home series with the Los Angeles Clippers just about a week back, and now they’ll try and do the same when they host the Utah Jazz in the second game of a back-to-back. Matchup: Portland (23-23) vs. Utah Jazz (26-21) Venue: Rose Garden Arena Time: 7:00 PM PT Date: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 Portland is just one game...

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves prediction and preview

On the road again The Portland Trail Blazers just wrapped up a home-and-home series with the Utah Jazz, which means it’s time to pack their bags and head on out for a seven-game road trip. Matchup: Portland Trail Blazers (24-23) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (18-26) Venue: Target Center Time: 5:00 PM PT Date: Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 Game one of the trip puts the team in Minnesota to take...

Portland Trail Blazers Need Bench Scoring To Be Consistent

The Portland Trail Blazers have been full of surprises this year, but there is one thing that Blazer fans are not surprised about; the Blazer bench, or lack thereof. Fans knew coming into this season that the team had no depth, and the lack of depth is really beginning to show for the Blazers. Consistency is hard to come by in the NBA, but it is what makes a good team. The Blazers’...

Trail Blazers-Timberwolves Preview

The Portland Trail Blazers have enjoyed an offensive surge during their home winning streak, but that hasn't translated to any road success lately. That may change against a slumping Minnesota Timberwolves team they've dominated in recent years. The Trail Blazers look to snap a four-game road losing streak Monday night as they try to win for the 10th time in 11 trips to...

Trail Blazers regain shooting touch against Jazz

PORTLAND, Ore. -- On Friday night, Portland shot 36.7 percent from the field and scored a season low in an 86-77 loss to Utah at EnergySolutions Arena. Imagine the satisfaction coach Terry Stotts felt as the Trail Blazers improved to 50.7 percent in a 105-99 victory over the Jazz Saturday night at the Rose Garden. "Twenty-four hours makes a difference," Stotts said...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.