Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard will replace injured L.A Cippers star Blake Griffin as a Western Conference All-Star this weekend in New York.
Late call up
Griffin is set to undergo surgery on his elbow to remove a staph infection, leaving the Clippers star out indefinitely.
It will be Lillard’s second All-Star appearance after creating history last year during the weekend’s festivities. The Portland guard took part in five events from the slam dunk contest to the All-Star game.
Many people thought Lillard should have made the team but when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was given a choice between the Portland star or DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings, Silver chose Cousins - much to the disgust of Lillard.
snubbed at first
The 24-year-old posted a picture on Instagram showing his dismay about the snub last week but his mood may now have turned around.
Lillard is averaging 21.6 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game but his most impressive statistic is his fourth quarter point average. The Blazers superstar has 311 points in the fourth quarter of games which leads the league and his buzzer-beater last year against the Rockets proved his nerves of steel with his clutch shots.
Lillard will be on the team with teammate LaMarcus Aldridge, who is making his fourth All-Star appearance. Together, Lillard and Aldridge have carried Portland over the past few seasons and they currently sit fourth in a stacked Western Conference.
With Griffin pulling out of the weekend, it means two of the selected Western Conference starters have dropped out through injury - the other being Kobe Bryant.
However, the Griffin injury is not only a disaster for Doc Rivers and the Clippers, it is bad news for NBA fans as the spectacle he provides will be absent.
Lillard will be excited to be involved in the All-Star weekend but appreciates Griffin is missing out. However, expect Lillard to put on a show in New York and prove why he should have been selected in the first place.