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The 2015 NBA All-Star starters and reserves were announced Thursday night, which inevitably means there were those deserving of the honor left on the outside looking in.
Of course, an ultra-competitive Western Conference leads to tougher decisions between players at the same positions, and sometimes fan voting leads to stars getting in over players whose statistics are simply more deserving.
Here are the top five NBA All-Star snubs for 2015:
Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
Twitter was buzzing because Lillard was not named an All-Star starter nor a reserve. Portland’s do-it-all point guard is averaging 21.8 points per game (13th in the league) and 6.2 assists (16th in the league). Plus, as a point guard he’s still securing 4.6 rebounds per game.
Lillard has helped the Trail Blazers ascend to the No. 2 spot in the West, and he’s playing at a higher level than last season, when he did earn a nod to the All-Star Game.
Lillard should be the top choice to replace an injured Kobe Bryant. Otherwise, Twitter might just explode.
Kyle Korver, Hawks
The Eastern Conference-leading Hawks got some serious recognition when it came to the All-Star voting, as three members of the team earned bids to the game. However, the sharp-shooting Korver did not.
Perhaps fans were weary about voting nearly the entire starting lineup, though, you can make the case they each deserve it.
Korver is on pace for a historic 50-50-90 season. He’s averaging 13 points, 4.2 boards and 2.9 assists per game. Many expect the 3-point specialist to replace Dwyane Wade, and rightfully so. There’s no shame is voting in four Hawks when they’re dominating the NBA right now.
DeMarcus Cousins, Kings
There have always been questions about Cousins’ energy and focus on and away from the court, but this year the big man has put it together and has posted the statistics worthy of being an NBA All Star.
Cousins is in the midst of a career year, averaging 23.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 steals per game. Simply, he’s a stat-sheet filler.
However, with Lillard likely in line to replace Bryant, Cousins is in the line to be the biggest snub of them all. It’s understandable fans would be skeptical about voting in the top player on a Kings team that’s floundering in the standings and one who was injured for part of the year, but didn’t Kevin Love get respect when he was still in Minnesota? And didn’t Kevin Durant get in despite missing half the year?
Brandon Knight, Bucks
Right behind Korver in the Eastern Conference snubs in Knight, the Bucks’ standout, who somehow, someway has lifted his team to a winning record.
Milwaukee is the only team above .500 that will not be represented at the All-Star Game, and that just feels wrong. Especially because it’s the Bucks!
Knight has averaged 17.9 points, 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game, and has single-handedly carried the Bucks while Jabari Parker has been sidelined due to injury. However, in the East, he’s competing for the same spots as John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Jeff Teague and Kyrie Irving, which made him a long-shot from the start.
Mike Conley, Grizzlies
While Memphis’ outstanding front court usually gets the headlines, Conley has been thriving yet again at the point and is a huge reason for the team’s success this season.
Conley is putting up 17.4 points and 5.6 assists per night, with a 20.1 Player Efficiency Rating. He’s also a standout on the defensive end of the court.
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