The remainder of the NBA All-Stars were announced Tuesday night, after the five starters for each conference were named last Thursday. One former USC Trojan was able to make the cut in a tight race for the final seven spots in the east and west.
Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic was officially named to the all-star game for the second time in his career during "Inside The NBA" on TNT. Vucevic was named an NBA All-Star reserve for the Eastern Conference.
Coaches voted on the seven reserve spots for each team, with Vucevic joining Jaylen Brown, James Harden, Zach LaVine, Julius Randle, Ben Simmons and Jayson Tatum from the east.
The final rosters will be determined through the NBA All-Star Draft on March 4, where captains Kevin Durant and LeBron James will select from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference and make their picks regardless of conference affiliation.
Vucevic was selected as an All-Star for the first time in 2018-19. He entered Tuesday’s game against the Pistons averaging 24.1 points per game, which is a career-high, and 11.7 rebounds while shooting a career-best 40.5% from the three-point line. He leads all NBA centers in made threes and is second in 3-pointers per game averaging 2.5.
The 30-year-old is shooting 48% from the floor, while connecting on 83% of his free throws. He's also averaging 3.6 assists per game.
Vucevic is seventh in field goals, netting 298 shot attempts, while being tied for second in the league with Stephen Curry in shot attempts with 619. He has a player efficiency rating (PER) of 24.2, which is good for 15th best in the league, as he is ahead of players like LeBron [James] and Paul George.
The seven-footer is by far the best player on the Magic, as he has been the only player on the team that can consistently score, averaging five more points per game than the team's next best scorer in Evan Fournier (19.1). Due to this, he added 3.7 wins to the team according to his win shares.
Orlando is currently 13-18, and on the cusp of playoff contention in the east despite having several key players injured. Even with some turmoil, the former Trojan has had a sensational year statistically and rightfully earned the honor of being named to the 2021 All-Star game.
The All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, March 7, in Atlanta, Georgia starting at 5 p.m. pacific time on TNT.
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