The Detroit Pistons center was included among the biggest “snubs” for the midseason showcase by a number of writers Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, including folks from ESPN, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and the Sporting News, among others.
Drummond enters Wednesday night’s game against the Utah Jazz in the middle of what is arguably his strongest season, averaging 14.3 points, a league-leading 15 rebounds, and 3.9 assists while shooting 62.9 percent from the free-throw line. The rebounds, assists and free-throw shooting so far are career highs.
It wasn’t enough for an All-Star berth, however.
“(Drummond) has good reason to be upset,” Jack Maloney of CBS Sports wrote. “After not playing well last season, Drummond has looked like a new player this season. ... He’s also turned into a facilitator as a key cog of the Pistons’ offense, handing out a career-high 3.9 assists per game. Furthermore, he’s fixed his free-throw shooting, and is now making 62.9 percent of his foul shots, also a career high.”
Chris Cwik of Yahoo Sports called Drummond “one of the best defensive players in the NBA this season.”
Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated and Tom Gatto of the Sporting News wrote that Drummond likely lost out of Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, though Nadkarni added both had a “fair claim” to an All-Star berth.
Porzingis leads the NBA with 2.3 blocked shots per game, to go along with averages of 23.3 points and 6.7 rebounds while also hitting 38.5 percent of his 3-pointers.
“Drummond has had a resurgent season for the Pistons, who have cooled off after a decent start to the season,” Nadkarni wrote. “It’s tough to get excited about plodding centers, but Drummond has really evolved this season, eschewing post-ups for more handoffs and action at the elbow.”
The All-Star Game will be Feb. 18 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The teams will be picked in a draft-style process, with LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors picking their 12-man teams, regardless of conference.
ALL-STAR GAME SELECTIONS
LeBron James, Cleveland; Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; Joel Embiid, Philadelphia; Kyrie Irving, Boston; DeMar DeRozan, Toronto.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards; Al Horford, Boston; Levin Love, Cleveland; Kyle Lowry, Toronto; Victor Oladipo, Indiana; Kristaps Porzingis, New York; John Wall, Washington.
Kevin Durant, Golden State; Anthony Davis, New Orleans; DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans; Stephen Curry, Golden State; James Harden, Houston.
LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio; Jimmy Butler, Minnesota; Draymond Green, Golden State; Damian Lillard, Portland; Klay Thompson, Golden State; Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota; Russell Westbrook; Oklahoma City.