Last week, the NBA announced the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star Game starters. Luka Doncic was included. Damian Lillard was not.
The argument for Doncic over Lillard is just as strong as Lillard over Doncic, but in the end the Mavericks’ superstar got the nod. Doncic joins Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Nikola Jokic as the Western Conference starters.
Doncic is averaging a near triple-double this season, totaling 29.1 points, 9.4 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game. Lillard, meanwhile, is a bit stronger in the scoring department (29.8 per game), but his average assists (7.7 per game) and rebounds (4.4 per game) are substantially lower than Doncic’s.
Despite the strong argument for Doncic, plenty are upset by Lillard being left out as a Western Conference All-Star Game starter. Even Charles Barkley is upset by the snub. The Mavs’ star completely understands the argument. In fact, he admitted on Saturday he believes Lillard deserved the nod over himself.
Luka Doncic on All-Star voting results: “I didn’t expect that I was going to start this game. I know that maybe [Damian] Lillard deserved it more than me.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 20, 2021
Luka Doncic may actually believe what he said, but the numbers don’t lie. Strictly speaking stats, Doncic deserves to be a starter over Damian Lillard. The real argument should be Lillard versus Steph Curry.
Curry and Lillard are widely regarded as the two best guards in the Western Conference. Which is best? You can’t choose wrong.
Curry has obviously become one of the main faces of the NBA. His brand and reputation may give him the edge over Lillard, but it’s closer than ever.
All is not lost, though. Lillard will be one of the top reserves in the All-Star Game on Sunday, Mar. 7.