Damian Lillard named to 2015 West All-Star team as replacement for injured Blake Griffin
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has been named a 2015 NBA All-Star by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, the league announced today.
Lillard was the expected pick as an injury replacement on the West All-Star team. DeMarcus Cousins had already been picked to replace the injured Kobe Bryant. Both Lillard and Cousins are having terrific seasons, and it seemed like a toss-up as to which was more worthy. There’s simply a lot of talent in the Western conference this season.
Lillard, 24, is averaging career highs of 21.6 points (42.9% FG, 34.4% 3PT, 85.7% FT), 4.6 rebounds and 1.49 steals to go with a team-high 6.3 assists in 51 games this season. The NBA Western Conference Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 16, Lillard is one of just five players averaging 21 points and six assists per game.
The NBA’s late-game scoring leader with 311 points in the fourth quarter, Lillard ranks 13th in scoring, 15th in assists and is sixth in 3-pointers (129).
Lillard is playing in back-to-back NBA All-Star games, becoming the fourth Trail Blazer to be selected twice in his first three seasons (Maurice Lucas, Brandon Roy and Sidney Wicks).
This year’s NBA All-Star Game will mark the 10th time the Trail Blazers will feature multiple players in the game, and the second consecutive year the duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and Lillard earn All-Star honors.
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, who earned the right to coach the West team because the Warriors had the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 1, will determine Griffin’s replacement in the starting lineup.
The 2015 NBA All-Star Game will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Sunday, Feb. 15, from Madison Square Garden in New York. The game will air live on TNT.