Video Tour of new Blazer Practice Facility
In only his second year, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard will be named to the Western Conference All-Star team as a reserve this afternoon, league sources informed CSNNW.com.
The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official announcement has yet to be made public.
Lillard, 23, is the floor general for the Portland Trail Blazers (33-12), the definitive surprise team of the year. His poise, demeanor and stellar play throughout this season won over the coaches.
In 46 appearances this season, Lillard is averaging 20.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 0.7 steals. He’s shooting 41 percent from three-point range and he’s third in three-pointers made this season behind Stephen Curry, who leads the league, and Klay Thompson.
Lillard made it a goal of making the All-Star squad this season despite being up against stiff point guard competition. Injuries to Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook unquestionably helped his case.
Bryant even went as far to say earlier this month that fans should vote for the “Lillards of the world” opposed to him.
“It will be an honor to be an All-Star,” Lillard told CSNNW.com last week. “To play alongside some of the greatest players in the game would be a dream come true. I felt like I’ve done enough to make it and hopefully the coaches think so too.”
LaMarcus Aldridge will make his third All-Star appearance, another league source confirmed, being that his selection was a no-brainer.
The last time Portland had two players in the All-Star game was in 1994 when Clyde Drexler and Cliff Robinson represented the team in Minneapolis.
In his eighth season, the 28-year old power forward is having a career year posting career-high numbers of 24.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 46 games.
All season long he has been in the MVP discussion. He was recently slighted from being a well-deserved Western Conference All-Star starter.
A Portland team that most figured would be fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference has truly blossomed at an accelerated pace into a conference power. And now two key players will be rewarded for their team’s success on a national platform on Feb. 16 in New Orleans.