Lillard Finishes 8th In All-Star Voting Among Western Conference Guards

by Casey Holdahl
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Well, you did what you could Rip City.

Prior to the weekly Thursday night slate of games on TNT, the NBA announced the starters for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game for both the Eastern and Western conferences, and Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard did not make the cut.

Cleveland’s LeBron James was the top vote-getter in the East, with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokoumpo, Boston’s Kyrie Irving, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid rounding out the starting five based on a combination of fan, media and player votes. As for the West, Golden State’s Stephen Curry took the top spot with his teammate Kevin Durant, Houston’s James Harden and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins all winning starting spots.

Lillard finished 8th in fan voting, which makes up 50 percent of the vote total, among Western guards behind players like Manu Ginobili (2nd), Klay Thompson (5th), Lonzo Ball (6th) and Chris Paul (7th). Reading the release from the NBA, Lillard finished in a three-way tie for 7th with Ginobili, Booker and Ball in terms of the media vote, which makes up 25 percent of the vote total, though that likely means that none of those players received votes from the media, which makes sense.

However, Lillard did finish in a tie with Phoenix’s Devin Booker for 4th in terms of player vote, which makes up the remaining 25 percent of the vote total. Only Curry, Harden and Westbrook got more votes from their fellow players than Lillard, which seems like something to be proud of.

Of course, fan/media/player voting is just for which players will start the 2018 All-Star Game (though who knows how that is going to work with the captains, James and Curry in this case, picking their team from a pool of players in both conferences this year), meaning there’s still a chance Lillard could end up in Los Angeles come the middle of February. The rest of the rosters will be determined by the coaches vote, and if they view Lillard in the same way that his fellow players evidently do, he stands a good chance of making the All-Star Game after missing out on the yearly exhibition the last two seasons.

The All-Star reserves will be announced on January 23. The All-Star Game will be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 18.