The Portland Trail Blazers will have two representatives — LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard — in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, so perhaps it’s a bit greedy to expect and/or hope that another member of the team gets invited to participate in one of the other events at All-Star Weekend. And that’s not even factoring in Lillard playing in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge (aka the Rookie/Sophomore game) and the Taco Bell Skills Challenge (and maybe even the dunk contest, according to CSNNW’s Chris Haynes).
But if you’ve put in the work and are among the best at the skills being highlighted, then it shouldn’t get dinged just because you’ve got talented teammates. Which is why Wesley Matthews should still get an invite to participate in the Footlocker Three-Point Contest, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe …
Matthews is seventh overall in 3-point attempts and has been scorching basically the entire season. His transformation into an elite high-volume 3-point shooter has been remarkable, and the Blazers, the league’s most prolific 3-point shooting team, deserve representation in the contest. Lillard is a fine choice, too, but he’s going to be in the real All-Star game and the rookie-sophomore mockery.
Matthews is shooting 42 percent from three this season, which is tied for 19th in the NBA. But as Lowe notes, he’s seventh in attempts, fourth in makes at 120 and ninth in adjusted field goal percentage. As Lowe aptly points out, the Trail Blazers as a team are second in three-point percentage at 38 percent and first in three-pointers made per game at 9.6, so it only seems fair that someone from Portland should compete in the contest, and Lillard already has plenty on his plate.
What’s more, Matthews really want to take part in the three-point contest. He refuses to lobby for himself, but he would very much like to be there.