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Damian Lillard’s All-Star Chances ‘As Strong as Ever’

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Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report gives Lillard the nod in his All-Star predictions.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has made the NBA All-Star Game two years in a row, and his performance this year will likely land him in the prestigious game once again. As Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report writes in his All-Star predictions, Lillard’s resume is “as strong as ever”:

Save for a quieter argument in the team success category, Lillard’s All-Star credentials appear as strong as ever. He’s splashing field goals at a career rate, burying more long-range bombs than ever and easily outpacing his previous high mark in assists.

The Blazers haven’t been themselves—although they’ve capitalized on a favorable schedule the past month—but those (relative) struggles can’t be pinned to Lillard. He has the NBA’s 10th-best RPM, and his on/off net differential is an MVP-level 15.9 points per 100 possessions.

Buckley selected Lillard as a reserve, giving the starting backcourt nods to Luka Doncic and James Harden. CJ McCollum was among the players in Buckley’s “final cut” category that fell just short of an All-Star selection.

Lillard is currently averaging 26.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. You can find Buckley’s entire predictions here.