When TNT's crew announced the 2014 NBA All-Star reserves on Thursday, a few notable names didn't make the cut. It happens every year.
This time, the list of snubs was headlined by the New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis and the Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry. You could easily make arguments for the Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins, the Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson and more. Here's our list of players who have a reason to be upset they weren't selected to go to New Orleans.
NBA All-Star Game
ANTHONY DAVIS: Davis missed out on a Western Conference All-Star berth because he's 20 years old and his team is not very good. It's not because of his skills or his stats. Davis is a defensive juggernaut, a 20-point-per-game scorer and the league's next superstar. How's this for consistency? In Davis' first 36 games played, he failed to score in double figures just once, a game where he scored seven points in 10 minutes before leaving with a broken hand. The 2012 draft's first overall pick is averaging a double-double and easily leads the NBA with 3.3 blocked shots per game. And many of those blocks are mind-blowing. One would think Davis will be named as an injury replacement for Kobe Bryant.
KYLE LOWRY: Lowry thoroughly deserved to make it in the East. Many have argued that he deserved to start. He's having a career year, averaging 16.8 points and 7.6 assists per game while shooting 40.6 percent from three-point range. He's become a fine floor general for head coach Dwane Casey and has made the most out of the increased opportunities afforded to him since the team traded Rudy Gay for a collection of role players. Lowry is also an excellent defender who averages 1.6 steals per game and leads the league in charges taken.
DEMARCUS COUSINS: Like Lowry, Cousins is likely hurt by his reputation among coaches. The West is a crowded field, but it's definitely a shame that NBA fans won't get to see the 6'11 Cousins pretending he's a point guard under the bright lights of the All-Star Game. His numbers were right: 22.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per game, all career highs along with his 48.8 percent mark from the field. The timing appears to be wrong, and Cousins might need years of this to change people's minds about him.
LANCE STEPHENSON: Stephenson really wanted to go to New Orleans. The Pacers shooting guard launched a campaign promoting his own All-Star candidacy, even though he was obviously never going to be voted in by the fans. He's a dynamic piece in Indiana's attack, averaging 14.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. Though he's been a bit inconsistent on offense and he's not as important as Paul George or Roy Hibbert, Stephenson has earned his starting role with the Pacers because he's improved with the ball and is an outstanding defender for head coach Frank Vogel. It's a mild surprise he wasn't named Indiana's third representative.
NBA All-Star reserves
MIKE CONLEY: Conley played like an All-Star, but is stuck in a conference where plenty of premier point guards reside. It's tough to choose between Tony Parker, Damian Lillard, Conley and the Phoenix Suns' Goran Dragic (more on him in a second), and Conley would have had a better shot if his team had performed better to start the season. He's not flashy and might not stand out on the All-Star stage, but his brilliant pick-and-roll work and steady hand have been vital for Memphis, a team that has won nine of its last 10, by the way.
GORAN DRAGIC: Dragic shared Phoenix's primary scoring and playmaking burden with teammate Eric Bledsoe for most of the season, but once Bledsoe went down with a knee injury, Dragic elevated his game. He's averaged 21.9 points and 6.5 assists in January, making 45.9 percent of his threes and keeping the Suns afloat while hoping his backcourt mate returns sooner than later. It's possible he never makes an All-Star Game, but he would have been a worthy choice this year.
ARRON AFFLALO: The Magic shooting guard has incrementally improved in each of his seven seasons, and his rise from role player to All-Star candidate should be celebrated. His game isn't exactly suited to the All-Star setting, but his production demanded serious consideration. Afflalo is averaging career highs of 20 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists, and he's shooting 47 percent from the field while shouldering a bigger load than ever before. It's hard to make the All-Star Game if you play for the league's second-worst team, though.
TIM DUNCAN: Tim Duncan's not an All-Star, but he's still winning his battle against Father Time. The 37-year-old's stats are down this year because he's playing under 30 minutes per game for the first time in his career and the Spurs know not to push him until the postseason. Still, he's capable of throwback performances on any night, and it wouldn't have been surprising if the coaches had made him a 15-time All-Star and rewarded the second-best team in the West for winning.
Here's who some of you think were snubbed. Let us know who has the biggest gripe in the comments.
@SBNationNBA Goran is the biggest snub.— Julia Mak (@MissJulze) January 31, 2014
Thank you ! RT @SBNationNBA: Personally, I think Serge Ibaka is one of the biggest snubs. But Davis and Cousins are good too.— Scott Brooks (@Morrison_13) January 31, 2014
@SBNationNBA Lowry... Best pg in the east by a huge margin— Matt Suffoletta (@MSuff) January 31, 2014
@SBNationNBA 20/10/3.3/1.5 & top 5 per, AD all dat— 504StReTcH (@stretch504) January 31, 2014