While fans are organizing a campaign to get Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard Damian Lillard the starting spot on the Western Conference All-Star team, Ben Golliver of the Washington Post explains why Lillard should be the pick to start alongside Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
The toughest decision on this ballot came down to Lillard versus Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic. Both players are among the NBA’s most exciting, and both have eye-popping stats. For comparison, Lillard, 30, has averaged 29 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game to Doncic’s 28.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 9.4 assists per game.
While the fans preferred the 21-year-old Doncic, the pick here is Lillard for three reasons: his shooting efficiency has been vastly superior, Portland’s offense has been more potent than Dallas’s attack and the Blazers have been a clear cut above the Mavericks in the West standings all season. After Doncic, Conley, Phoenix’s Chris Paul and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell will have to compete for reserve spots.
The adversity the Blazers have faced in handling multiple injuries to multiple starters only makes Lillard’s case clearer, alongside the salient points made by Golliver.
You can read all of his other picks here (subscription required).