After the best half-season of his career, Arron Afflalo was snubbed when he was not chosen to be a part of the 2014 NBA All-Star Roster. The announcement was made on TNT’s Inside the NBA Thursday Night.
Afflalo has been an offensive revelation for the Orlando Magic this season, he is posting career highs of 20.0 ppg, 3.7 apg, and 4.3 rpg, and his true shooting percentage has been a sizzling 58.6%. He has started at both shooting guard and small forward, and looks to be carving out a permanent place in Orlando’s future. Once considered a throw in as part of the Dwight Howard trade, he has worked to become a legitimate offensive force. Unfortunately, his stellar play could not overcome the Orlando Magic’s team deficiencies.
The relative weakness of the Eastern Conference left a glut of above average players fighting for the final spots on the All-Star roster. Afflalo faced stiff competition from John Wall, Kyle Lowry, DeMar Derozan, and Lance Stephenson for the last guard selections. Hurting Afflalo’s case was the Magic’s 12-34 record, good for second worst in the NBA. His competition all played on winning teams.
Starting for the Eastern Conference are Kyrie Irving, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. Filling out the rest of the reserves are John Wall, Joe Johnson, and DeMar Derozan at guard. Chris Bosh, Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah, and Paul Millsap round out the front-court. Dwayne Wade has been struggling with balky knees all season, if he decides to sit out the All-Star Game, it will open up another roster spot that could be used to add Afflalo. The fact that he is a guard also doesn’t hurt. The biggest snubs? Definitely Afflalo and the Indiana Pacers’ Lance Stephenson.
The Western Conference starters are Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Love. reserve guards are James Harden, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, and Tony Parker. LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, and Dirk Nowitzki are the front court reserves. Kobe Bryant will not play in the game due to his injured knee, so there will be one more player to be named. DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic, DeMarcus Cousins, Mike Conley, and Tim Duncan are notable players that did not receive invitations.
The Orlando Magic’s last All-Star was none other than the infamous Dwight Howard. Even without Afflalo, they will be represented at the All-Star Weekend by Victor Oladipo who was invited to play in the Rising Stars Challenge (formerly the Rookie – Sophomore Game). As if the Magic’s poor record wasn’t evidence enough, their poor showing in the All-Star Game and it’s JV equivalent further demonstrates the lack of star talent on the roster.
What do you think? Did Arron Afflalo deserve to make the 2014 All-Star Roster? Will he be names as a replacement player? Let us know in the comments section below.