Bucks' Jennings snubbed from All-Star Game
The All-Star drought will continue for the Milwaukee Bucks.
As the All-Star reserves were announced Thursday, Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings and shooting guard Monta Ellis weren't selected by the Eastern Conference coaches.The Bucks haven’t had an All-Star since Michael Redd during the 2003-04 season. Since 1997, only Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson and Redd have represented Milwaukee in the All-Star Game.
Jennings had the best chance of breaking the streak, but the fourth-year point guard won't be making his first All-Star appearance. The 23-year-old is averaging 18.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, a career-best 5.8 assists and career-best 2.0 steals per game.
Instead, Eastern Conference coaches chose Philadelphia point guard Jrue Holiday and Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving as the reserve guards. This year, coaches could select two "wild card" players in addition to the two guards and three frontcourt players, giving players like Jennings a better chance at making the team.
Chicago's Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, Indiana's Paul George, Miami's Chris Bosh and New York's Tyson Chandler rounded out the Eastern Conference's reserves.
In the Western Conference, San Antonio's Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, Houston's James Harden, Golden State's David Lee, Memphis' Zach Randolph and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook were named reserves.
Making the All-Star team has been a longtime goal for Jennings. When he wasn't offered a contract extension before the season, the former first-round pick was motivated to let his play on the court do the talking, including setting his sights on making his first trip to the All-Star Game.
Jennings thought he was deserving of a spot on the Eastern Conference roster last season but felt Milwaukee's under-.500 record held him back. This year, the Bucks are 22-18 and in the Eastern Conference playoff mix.
Team record obviously didn't factor into the voting of the coaches, as Jennings' team (22-18) has a much better record than Holiday's and Irving's. The 76ers are 17-25 and the Cavaliers are the second-worst team in the conference at 10-32.
While Irving's 23.7 points per game for last-place Cleveland is higher than Jennings'18.7, Holiday's numbers are pretty close. Holiday averages 19.0 points per game but averages 9.0 assists, 3.2 more per game than Jennings.
Steady all season long, Jennings has really taken off in January, averaging 21.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists while shooting 43.5 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Last season, Jennings admitted he was upset after not being selected. After Wednesday's win over the 76ers, Jennings said he wasn't going to get down if he didn't make it again.
"Regardless of what happens, I'm still going to keep playing hard, still going to keep competing because right now we are winning, and we're in a good situation here," he said.
Though the Bucks won't have a player in the All-Star Game, Milwaukee could be still represented during All-Star weekend in Houston. Rookie forward John Henson has a chance to be in the Rising Stars Game, and forward Mike Dunleavy is a favorite to be in the Three-Point Contest.
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