Thursday night, the reserves for the East and West’s All-Star teams got announced. Expectedly, there are a few people who should’ve made it, but didn’t. 

Unlike the starters, the coaches are the ones who vote for the reserves, and they usually get it right. Of the 14 players who got selected, most are deserving, and guys like Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker are two first-timers who earned the honor.

DeAndre Jordan was another one who got their first All-Star nod, but the decision to pick him over some other names out West is puzzling. In the East, Paul Millsap is the guy whose election caused a stir in NBA-land, even though he’s putting together a respectable season with the Atlanta Hawks.

Below are the three biggest snubs for this year. And no, Rudy Gobert is not one of them. A lot of people believe that Gobert should’ve made it over DeAndre Jordan, but the two are similar players, and if I were to replace Jordan with someone, it wouldn’t have been Gobert.

1Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers - Replaces Paul Millsap

After spending two full seasons working to get his body right, Joel Embiid has taken the NBA by storm and is in line to be one of the next generation’s most dominating players. Even with a minutes restriction and numerous rest days, Embiid is head and shoulders above his rookie contemporaries, and he’s on pace to become the eighth rookie to average 19 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

Six of those guys are Hall of Famers, and the seventh is Tim Duncan.

There just aren’t that many bigs playing as well as he is, and he’s routinely been a game-changer on both sides of the floor. Offensively, he’s incredibly versatile. Embiid’s footwork in the low post is great, and he’s drawn numerous comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon because both have remarkable agility for seven-footers.

He’s also embraced the unicorn style of play, and Embiid isn’t hesitant to fire away from outside. Despite cooling off significantly over the last couple of weeks, Embiid’s still shooting about 35 percent (34.8) from three, and he’s the only consistent threat on Philly’s dreadful offense.

On defense, it’s a different ballgame. The Sixers are an outstanding unit defensively, and having Embiid as their anchor makes them so much better. Since the start of January, Philadelphia has a top-three defense, and Embiid is holding opponents to 29.5 percent shooting. Twenty-nine point five. Millsap, the player I picked as the Defensive Player of the Year last year, has struggled on that end of the floor, and his foes nail 48.2 percent of their attempts.

If Embiid continues at this pace, he’ll be someone we’ll be seeing in All-Star games for years to come.

2Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers - Replaces DeAndre Jordan

Dec 20, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) during the game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. The Trail Blazers defeated the Kings 126-121. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The West has five frontcourt players. Why? I’m not sure, and it’s even more confounding because there’s three on the opposite coast. Because of this, Jordan is the odd man out, and it’s undeniable that Lillard is more impactful year than DJ.

Granted, the Trail Blazers are nearing dumpster fire territory, but, without Lillard, they’d be the worst team in the league. However, All-Star selections aren’t about team performances, and Lillard has proven to be one of the top all-around players in his conference, believe it or not. Russell Westbrook (31.0) and James Harden (28.6) are the only two guards scoring more than him out West, and Lillard is tied for seventh overall in that department with 26.2 points a night.

Furthermore, that trio of guards are the only three players averaging at least 26 points, five assists and four rebounds a game this year, according to

Lillard has also upped his efficiency from last season. His field goal percentage overall increased to 44.4 percent from 41.9 last season, and that’s with a more inaccurate long ball. Last year, Dame was one of the league’s most lethal marksman, and he buried more than 37 percent of his threes. This year, that clip is down to 34.1, but he’s countered it with improvements around the basket and from mid-range — on twos, Lillard’s at 50.6 percent after just 45 in 2015-16.

It’s his second consecutive snub, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll see an angry Lillard.

3Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers - Replaces DeAndre Jordan/Klay Thompson

Dec 14, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; LA Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) looks on against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. LA Clippers defeated the Orlando Magic 113-108. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you don’t believe that Lillard should replace DJ, then Paul can. Conversely, if you feel like Dame deserved it, then CP3 replaces Thompson.

When you look at them, Paul’s numbers have taken a dip. He’s scoring just 17.5 points and handing out 9.7 dimes a night, which is a bit far off from the 19-and-11 guy we’ve gotten used to. What’s also down are his minutes, and Paul is averaging about 31 (30.9) a night, the fewest ever in his career.

Since he landed with the Clippers, the team has done a great job reducing his minutes. Paul used to average 37.1 minutes a night with the Hornets and that number is down to 34.1 with Los Angeles, and his production is still the same. He’s still one of the league’s best point guards overall, and he’s also maintaining his two-way stardom.

Per 36 minutes stats may not be the best way to judge production, but it’s objective and puts everything on a level playing field. If you look at those numbers, this is the best season Paul’s ever had. He’s boasting career-bests in rebounds (6.2) and assists (11.3) and is adding 2.6 steals and 20.4 points to it.

Also, would it be wrong to say that Paul helped make Jordan an All-Star? Just some food for thought.

More NBA: 

Start a conversation with me on Twitter