With the release of the bench players for this years All-Star game it reminded us that there are always players who get snubbed. This year there were some notable, and some deserving names who aren’t going to be playing Sunday night in New Orleans. Some of the more notable players left off the All-Star roster are Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul.
None of these three deserved to be All-Stars this year, but in previous years they’ve been a shoo in so it’s surprising not to see them in the lineup. There were also deserving players who didn’t make it such as Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Rudy Gobert, and Joel Embiid.
Lillard has been snubbed now two straight years. His stats this year are definitely All-Star worthy. He’s averaging 26 points almost 6 assists and five boards. Unfortunately Lillard’s impact has gone unnoticed because of the other big seasons from superstars like Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Another reason Lillard was probably left out is that his team isn’t doing that great. The Trailblazers are currently in ninth place and fighting for a playoff spot. However his points and rebound numbers are better than Curry’s. The only difference is Curry is on a championship caliber team, so he got the nod.
Lillard’s back-court mate C.J. McCollum has also been having a fantastic season. When Lillard went down due to injury, McCollum stepped up to keep the Blazers afloat. Since Lillard’s return McCollum has continued to produce at a high level, even higher than Lillard at times. McCollum is averaging 23.5 points on the year for the ninth seeded Blazers. Despite being out of the playoffs at the moment both of these guys were worthy of being All Stars because of their production.
Rudy Gobert has also made a case for All Star snubbery. This season Gobert is averaging 12 points, 12 boards, and two blocks. If that’s not impressive enough for you his Player Efficiency Rating is at 22 which is just one below Stephen Curry who is a two time MVP. Gobert is also a huge part of why the Jazz have taken the step into playoff contention. He anchors the defense minded squad and has led them to the fifth seed in the highly competitive Western Conference.
Embiid is the snub I’m most okay with, but its a snub nonetheless. Embiid is having a historic rookie season. He’s averaging a hair under 20 points 8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. That’s a crazy stat line for anyone, let alone a rookie. His Player Effieciency rating is also at 24 which is higher than Gobert and Lillard. Despite all the stats, the best thing Embiid has done so far is bring excitement back to Philly. That team is no longer an easy win for any team playing against them and it’s because of the impact of Embiid.