clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kevin Durant selected to 2015 NBA All-Star team, Damian Lillard left off

The rest of the NBA All-Stars for the Feb. 15 game in Madison Square Garden were announced Thursday.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has announced the reserves for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. Kevin Durant and Chris Paul headline the coaches' selections in the Western Conference, while three players from the Atlanta Hawks have been tabbed as reserves in the East. DeMarcus Cousins, Damian Lillard and Kyle Korver are among the biggest snubs.

There will still be at least one injury replacement announced in the near future for starter Kobe Bryant in the West. Another spot in the East could open up if Dwyane Wade needs a replacement after sustaining a hamstring injury.

You can find the All-Star starters here. Let's take a look at the reserves:

Eastern Conference


Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers: Amid a slow start to the season for the Cavaliers, Irving has continued to be one of the better perimeter scorers in the league. The fourth-year guard has maintained most of his production from last season even with a significantly different group of teammates. Considering Irving won MVP honors last year after recording 31 points and 14 assists, we should all probably be grateful to have his presence around again.

Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls: On a roster full of talent, Butler has emerged as arguably the Bulls' best player. One imagines Chicago is smacking itself right now for not locking up the 25-year-old earlier, because he's a borderline lock to receive a max offer once he hits restricted free agency in the summer now. Butler has been a strong defender for years, but this season he's finally paired that with an effective offensive game. Few players are as good as Butler at attacking the basket to draw fouls, and he's improved enough as a three-point shooter to make defenders think twice about leaving him alone out there. He's basically James Harden lite on offense, and one of the best two-way wings in the NBA.

Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks: After a few years of steady progress, Teague has finally taken the next step as a point guard during the Hawks' breakout season. The point guard's numbers aren't eye-popping, but there aren't many guards as efficient as he is, and he's having the most efficient season of his career. He also plays solid defense despite being relatively undersized, and has the best assist-to-turnover ratio of his six-year career. There might be more exciting point guards out there, but Teague is deserving as the orchestrator of the most surprising team in the league.

Dwyane WadeMiami Heat: The Heat's season may not be going as well as the team and its fans had hoped, but that's not on Wade. Now in his 12th season in the league, the 32-year-old Wade remains one of the most efficient players in the NBA. His PER is the second-highest among the league's shooting guards behind James Harden, though he has missed some time with injuries. He is no longer as explosive as before, but has adjusted his game and is carrying Miami in fourth quarters. This will be Wade's 11th All-Star Game appearance. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2009-10 game.


Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks: Millsap has found his niche in Atlanta, as this is his second consecutive All-Star appearance after making his first All-Star game last year. His overall numbers are similar to last year, but he has been more efficient and continues to play an important role as a stretch 4 in the Hawks' lethal offensive attack. He has taken nearly three three-pointers per game the last two seasons after barely taking any during his stint in Utah. With Al Horford at his side, the Hawks have one of the most versatile frontcourts in the league.

Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks: Horford was playing some of the best basketball of his career when he went down with a torn pectoral muscle last season, and the Hawks slipped from the No. 3 seed with the big man to under .500 without him. Horford has stayed healthy this season, and his steadying presence in the middle is a big reason why Atlanta is the best team in the Eastern Conference. His overall numbers won't wow you, but he can score effectively in the paint and from mid-range. He's also the anchor of one of the best defensive teams in the league. This is his third All-Star appearance.

Chris BoshMiami Heat: With LeBron James no longer around, Bosh has taken over as the top option in Miami this season and played well. The Heat aren't what they used to be, fighting for a playoff spot instead of the No. 1 seed, but that's not due to a lack of production from their star big man. Bosh has put up big numbers this season, and he has his best PER in five seasons with Miami. He has also proven to be a legitimate threat from three-point range. Not that this is news, but there aren't many big men in the NBA as versatile as the 30-year-old Bosh. Now he gets a nod for his 10th straight All-Star Game, and the chance to briefly reunite with LeBron to take on some Western Conference foes.

Western Conference


Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: Missing time in a crowded Western Conference would cost most players their spot in the All-Star Game, but not Westbrook. He's not like most players, after all. The Thunder's ultra-athletic point guard is averaging 24.7 points, 7.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds and a league-leading 2.3 steals per game, and has been a driving force behind OKC's rise up the standings. The Thunder went 4-10 with Russ out of the lineup earlier this season, but have posted a 19-12 record with him in the lineup. The shooting percentages -- 26 percent from three, 42 percent overall -- demand some attention, but it helps that he's averaging a career-high 8.4 free throw attempts per game.

James Harden, Houston Rockets: Many would consider Harden an MVP candidate, but the Rockets' shooting guard couldn't pass Kobe Bryant in fan voting. The reasons for that are somewhat obvious -- Kobe's got a lot of fans -- but there's little doubt about who has had the better season on the court. Harden has been a huge part of Houston's strong start to the season, and he's currently leading the league in scoring. He could join LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the only players in the past 20 years to average at least 27 points per game while posting a true shooting percentage of 61 percent or better, making his place on the All-Star team a no-brainer. He could start with Bryant now injured.

Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers: No longer the consensus top point guard in the league, Paul has to settle for his eighth-straight All-Star appearance. The 29-year-old isn't quite the devastating two-way menace that scourged the league for years anymore, but he's still as efficient as any guard around with averages of 17.4 points and 9.8 assists per game. Thanks to CP3, the Clippers have the league's third-best point differential, trailing only the Warriors and Hawks, and figure to be in the mix for homecourt advantage until the end of the regular season. Even if he's not at the peak of his powers, Paul is still early in his decline. The skills, for the most part, remain intact.

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors: The Warriors opted not to include Thompson in trade talks for Kevin Love, and they instead rewarded the shooting guard with a $70 million contract extension. Thompson has rewarded the team's faith in him by becoming the best shooting guard in the league not named James Harden and earning his first All-Star nod. Thompson's game has evolved from three-point specialist to all-around offensive threat, and he's putting up career highs across the board. Not to mention he had a record-setting 37-point quarter this season and plays stellar defense to boot. Thompson and Stephen Curry are the best backcourt in the league without question, and they could lead the Warriors to a 70-win season and a title.


Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs: We might be witnessing the greatest performance by a 38-year-old in NBA history this season. Duncan continues to be a revelation for San Antonio, rarely showing his age, and now he's heading to his 15th All-Star Game in 18 seasons. The overall numbers aren't eye-popping, but there are few players as smart, steady and committed to winning as Duncan. Until he starts really slowing down -- which is going to happen soon, even though we said the same thing three years ago -- it's hard not to appreciate one of the sport's all-time greats maintaining nearly two decades of excellence.

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder: It was just too difficult to keep Durant out of the All-Star Game even after a first half limited by injury. He's the league's reigning MVP, and it just wouldn't feel like a true "best of the best" showcase without KD making an appearance. The Thunder star has averaged 25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 21 games this season, and while those numbers are way down from a year ago, they still make him one of the most production players around. He's also, you know, Kevin Durant, and it's hard to keep a superstar with that kind of reputation out of the All-Star Game when he's healthy, even if others contributed more in the first 40-plus games.

LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers: LaMarcus Aldridge was a lock to make the All-Star game all along thanks to his sterling numbers and his team's record. Among eligible players, he ranks seventh in the league in points per game, 12th in rebounds per game, ninth in minutes per game and eighth in PER. The only reason his participation was in doubt was an injury to his thumb, which initially was reported to need surgery and would have held Aldridge out for six to eight weeks. He decided to play through it, showing the type of leadership and commitment coaches love. Aldridge is making his fourth All-Star game in a row, and more will be in his future.