One thing has been clear this season for the Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard is the heart and soul of the team. His offense is a bright spot, and his willingness to set the tempo with effort plays is appreciated. Lillard is close to or setting career numbers this year, and Dan Favale of Bleacher Report has him as an All-Star reserve thanks to his great season so far:
Damian Lillard is left to aim for reserve selections with so many backcourt megastars in the West. And it forever put him on the verge of getting snubbed entirely. (See: 2015-16 and 2016-17.)
That won’t happen this year. Lillard is too good. He’s posting career highs in scoring and true shooting percentage without an uptick in usage. His finishing around the rim is a coin toss, but he’s making smarter reads in traffic and sporting mortal-Stephen-Curry touch on his pull-up jumper.
Even with Portland’s peak-and-valley act alive and well, Lillard is more All-Star shoo-in than fringe candidate.
You can read Favale’s entire list of All-Star predictions here, and let us know in the comments if you like Lillard’s chances to make the All-Star team based on his performance to this point.