Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge and guard Damian Lillard have been selected to the 2014 NBA All-Star Game as reserves.
Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports...
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.
LaMarcus Aldridge will make his third All-Star appearance, another league source confirmed, being that his selection was a no-brainer.
Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter...
Blazers guard Damian Lillard named to West All-Star reserves, a source said.
Update (4:00 p.m.): TNT officially announced both Aldridge and Lillard as 2014 All-Stars.
Here's the team's release.
Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge and guard Damian Lillard were named 2014 NBA All-Star reserves by a vote of Western Conference head coaches, it was announced today by the league.
Aldridge, 28, is posting career highs of 24.3 points (47.1 FG%), 11.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists this season for the Trail Blazers (33-13), ranking fifth in scoring, fifth in rebounding and second in field goals (459) among league leaders. A three-time NBA Western Conference Player of the Week this season, Aldridge became the third player in the league this year and second fastest in franchise history to score 1,000 points. He recently moved into third place on Portland's all-time scoring ledger with 10,418 points.
Playing in his third consecutive NBA All-Star Game, Aldridge becomes the fifth player in franchise history to be selected three times, joining Clyde Drexler (8), Sidney Wicks (4), Maurice Lucas (3) and Brandon Roy (3).
Last season's unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year, Lillard, 23, is averaging 20.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists to go with a 41.3% (136-for-329) mark from 3-point range. He leads all sophomores in scoring and assists, while ranking third in the NBA in 3-pointers made and 14th in scoring. Upon registering his 200th assist earlier this month, Lillard became the third NBA player to register 700 points, 200 assists and 100 rebounds this season.
Lillard is a first-time NBA All-Star and the fifth player in franchise history to be selected in his first two seasons, joining Geoff Petrie (1971), Wicks (1972), Lucas (1977) and Roy (2008). His inclusion on this year's team makes him the 16th player to be named an NBA All-Star in franchise history.
The 2014 NBA All-Star Game will mark the ninth time the Trail Blazers will feature multiple players in the game, and the first since 1994, when Drexler and Cliff Robinson represented Rip City in Minneapolis.
The two players appeared in an All-Star Weekend commercial (via YouTube user NBA DailyHighlights)...
Lillard was selected to the Rising Stars Challenge earlier this week.
Aldridge, 28, will be making his third All-Star appearance overall and his third straight appearance. He is averaging 24.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists (all career-highs) while shooting 47.1 percent this season. Aldridge's PER of 23.3 ranks No. 10 overall in the league and he has been named Western Conference Player of the Week three times this season.
Aldridge discussed being passed over for a starting spot in the fan voting process last week.
"I've kind of gotten used to those things happening," Aldridge told Blazersedge afterwards, when asked about missing out on a starting spot. "Everybody around me was more upset than me. I came in tonight and [Nicolas Batum] was pretty fired up about it. My mom was pretty heated about it. Me, I was like, 'OK, this is happening again.'"
"I think I definitely should have been a starter," Aldridge told Blazersedge. "But it's over with now, basically."
Coach Terry Stotts added this assessment.
"I stand by my belief that he's the best power forward in the game," Stotts said. "I think he showed it again tonight. It's not the first time he's shown that. The starters are voted by the fans, but I think LaMarcus has the respect of the coaches and the players and the general managers in the league. He's going to be in the All-Star Game and deservedly so. I think he just proved, once again, that he's the best power forward [in the NBA]."
Lillard, 23, will be making his first career All-Star appearance in his second NBA season. He is averaging a career-high 20.6 points and 5.6 assists while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from deep. His PER of 18.9 ranks No. 12 among point guards and he's currently No. 3 among all players in three-pointers made and attempted this season.
Lillard discussed his mindset in advance of the All-Star reserve selections on Tuesday.
The NBA's All-Star reserves will be announced on Thursday. Here's Damian Lillard to Blazersedge on what he's expecting: "I've been telling myself not to worry about it, to be honest with you. I think I've done everything I can. Everything in my control, I've done, it's out of my hands. It's going to be what it's going to be."
Asked if he felt like he had earned his first All-Star appearance, Lillard replied without hesitation: "I do feel like I earned it."
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