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NBA All-Star Game: Who missed the mark?

Westbrook+is+averaging+a+triple+double+this+year%2C+but+was+wasn%E2%80%99t+voted+an+All-Star+starter.
Westbrook is averaging a triple double this year, but was wasn’t voted an All-Star starter.

Westbrook is averaging a triple double this year, but was wasn’t voted an All-Star starter.

Erik Daniel Drost

Erik Daniel Drost

Westbrook is averaging a triple double this year, but was wasn’t voted an All-Star starter.

Naaim Siddiqi, Copy Editor

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The NBA All-Star Game will be held on Feb. 19 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The starters for the game (as voted on by fans, players, and the media) were announced on Jan. 19, and the reserves (as voted on by NBA head coaches) were announced on Jan. 26. While it’s hard to find a player who didn’t deserve to make it, there are a handful of players who probably should have been selected but were left out.

 

  • Chris Paul: He may be injured, but Chris Paul is possibly a Top-10 point guard of all time and is a proper two-way player, controlling the game offensively and providing quality defense from the point guard position. His broken hand would have prevented him from playing anyway, but for him to not be selected is baffling.

 

  • Damian Lillard: Major League Baseball All-Star Game rules stipulate that each team must carry at least one player from each team. If any player should be arguing for the NBA to adopt that rule, it’s Portland Trail Blazers’ star point guard Damian Lillard. He has had a fantastic season, only with the misfortune of doing it on a poor team.

 

  • Bradley Beal: If there’s a theme of this All-Star Game, it’s guards. Of the five starters for the Eastern Conference, four have spent significant time as guards, and four more guards make up the majority of the 7-man bench. It may not surprise you, then, that Bradley Beal was left off the East’s roster, despite being a driving force in the success of the Washington Wizards.

 

  • Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony: This will be the first time since 2005 that Wade will not be present at the All-Star Game and only the second time since 2007 that Anthony won’t be there. While Anthony has still been performing well, his New York Knicks have not been, leaving him in a similar position to that of Lillard. Wade, meanwhile, has not made the transition to Chicago well, performing poorly with the underperforming Bulls, but it will still be strange not to see him there.

 

  • Any star center: In 2013, the NBA eliminated the center from fan voting in favor of a generic “frontcourt” position, leading to the exclusion of most centers from being selected to the game at all. In fact, the only center on the Eastern Conference team this year is reserve F/C Kevin Love. The most affected center is Joel Embiid, star rookie for the Philadelphia 76ers who has been proving himself a generational talent. Other center snubs include Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns, and Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert.

Russell Westbrook: While Westbrook wasn’t completely snubbed – he was chosen as one of two reserve guards for the Western Conference – his season has been unbelievable to this point, averaging a triple-double per game with 30.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 10.2 assists. In a season following the departure of Kevin Durant, Westbrook has stepped up to become one of the best individual players in the NBA, but is left on the bench in favor of 2016-17’s MVP, Stephen Curry.

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