MILWAUKEE — The door that had opened for Brandon Jennings to make the All-Star Game has been slammed shut.
NBA commissioner David Stern has picked Brooklyn center Brook Lopez to replace injured Boston point guard Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference All-Star team. Jennings was not chosen initially when the reserves were announced last Thursday but seemed to be one of the favorites to replace Rondo, who tore his ACL on Sunday.
Stern did not have to replace a guard with a guard and chose not to. Lopez — averaging 18.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks — is a deserving candidate and also topped the snub list when he was left off the team.
Brooklyn sits in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference at 27-18 and didn’t have an All-Star prior to Lopez being added Wednesday.
Because a center was chosen to replace a guard, the East will be shorthanded at the guard position. Either Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday or Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving will replace Rondo in the starting lineup, leaving the other as the only guard on the bench.
Jennings was hoping to become Milwaukee’s first All-Star since 2004 and make the All-Star Game for the first time in his four-year career. The 23-year-old point guard is averaging 18.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting a career-best 37.7 percent from beyond the arc.
With the Bucks having a 24-19 record and just two games behind Brooklyn for the fourth spot in the East, Jennings was hoping playing on a winning team would help his cause, but that wasn’t the case.
Bucks rookie forward John Henson also got bad news Wednesday. The 14th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft was not chosen as one of the nine rookies for the Rising Stars Game.