All-Star weekend: Goran Dragic to test skills, Miles Plumlee a Rising Star


PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic will participate in the Taco Bell Skills competition on the Saturday of All-Star weekend. Dragic was one of eight players selected and will be teamed up with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson in a new format that will feature four teams of two.

Though the announcement came about Thursday, apparently this was old news for The Dragon.

“I already knew that a few days ago,” Dragic said. “They invited me so I said I wanted to try it.”

Dragic is averaging 20.1 points, 6.0 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game to lead the Suns to a surprising 29-20 record. He also won the Western Conference Player of the Week recently by averaging 26.8 points per game during a four-game stretch. And though he’ll get the recognition of the Skills Challenge, it looks like he will not be playing in the All-Star game unless there is another injury in the next few days.

The NBA named New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis as Kobe Bryant’s injury replacement in the game on Friday, which locked in a full Western Conference roster.

“I’d rather him be in the All-Star game, but it will be fun for him and a good experience,” coach Jeff Hornacek said of his point guard.

Dragic will take his wife Maja and son Mateo to New Orleans for the weekend.

Plumlee makes Rising Stars game

The NBA also announced on Friday that Suns center Miles Plumlee will play in the Rising Stars Challenge by replacing Atlanta Hawks forward Pero Antic, who is injured.

Plumlee will join former Suns forward Grant Hill’s team and its roster drafted live on TNT Thursday night. The Duke product could see minutes against brother Mason, the Brooklyn Nets rookie that was drafted to Chris Webber’s squad.

Plumlee is averaging 9.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and has been a key contributor to the Suns’ quick turnaround this season.

Regarding All-Star weekend, Plumlee was arguably a bigger snub than Dragic until the news broke Friday.

“Probably Miles, just because there are a lot of deserving guys for the All-Star game, and you go down the list that didn’t make it and you can pick three or four guys,” Hornacek said. “Miles to me is a second year guy and has a great year and should be on it.”

Dragic visits Grand Canyon

On Thursday night, Dragic took in a game at Grand Canyon University for the first time to support his former coach, Dan Majerle, who is now leading the Antelopes in their first season in the WAC.

“I liked the facilities, kind of small, but so close to the court. It is a great atmosphere and Dan is doing a good job,” Dragic said.

The Antelopes lost 79-68 to Utah Valley but are having a successful year with a 11-11 (6-3) record in Majerle’s first year as coach.

Tags: All Star Goran Dragic Miles Plumlee Phoenix Suns

  • Foreveris2long

    If the game was any place but New Orleans I think Dragic gets the call to play because he was instrumental in getting his team to play at a level that exceeded expectations throughout the league. Davis while having exceptional numbers, his team is struggling. Anyway I am glad Dragic will be involved in an all-star activity.

    Glad to see Dragic supporting Majerle at Grand Canyon U.

  • Curt

    Consolation prizes. NBA and Silver cannot continue to ignore a winning Suns team, especially if they are headed to the post season.

  • scorandragic

    Better for dragic.. no need for the sympathy. . Earn a starting spot not a throw in because someone is injured.. dragic will be a starting all star and anthony davis will eventually gi dowb again due to injury.

  • EBJM

    From the USA Today:

    It’s no secret at this point that the Suns are searching for a star to take their shockingly-good season to yet another level, and as was first reported by ESPN, they’re currently considering the question of whether or not the Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol is that player. But if that deal or any other doesn’t happen, here’s one player to watch when free agency rolls around in July: Rudy Gay.

    The Sacramento Kings small forward has a player option for next season worth $19.3 million, and the Suns are expected to have serious interest if he decides to opt out. While second-year Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is clearly open to a star player of any kind, it’s believed that he would prefer it to be a perimeter player. As a footnote, the Suns inquired about Randolph but were told he wasn’t available. One rival executive also noted the possibility of the Philadelphia 76ers’ Thaddeus Young being a target, as the 25-year-old who is averaging 17.5 points and 6.2 points per game is known to be up for trade discussion.

    Interesting insight into McDonough’s thinking.

  • JK

    NOOO PLEASE ANYBODY BUT RUDY GAY!!!

  • JK

    Seriously though, I will no longer support the Suns if they pickup Rudy Gay. Most inefficient “star” player I’ve seen in my lifetime. If we’re really trying to get some star power on this team then we need to either go for Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony and that’s it. No settling for these subpar wannabe superstars.

  • Melon Man

    JK, I’m pretty sure Love is actually less efficient than Gay. While the Raptors have improved without him, he’s managed to improve in Sacramento. I don’t know that I’d want Gay but I don’t think Love would be any better than him.

    I think Pau slows us down, Young is okay but not great and Melo is a ballhog I don’t want to see in this town. I’m not sure what the solution is but I trust McD for the most part.

  • GoSuns

    I would be open to Gay, he’s been in systems in the past that drew out his inefficiencies, he’s now in a system in which he can thrive and not do so many isos

  • Scott

    I doubt McD is seriously interested in either Gay or Randolph. He’s probably doing his due diligence and also finding out which players might be available for use in a multi-team trade.

    So even if the Suns were involved in a trade for Gay or Randolph, that wouldn’t necessarily mean those players end up on the Suns’ roster.

  • Scott

    As for Dragic … being in the Skills Challenge puts him at the All-Star Weekend, so if he gets called at the last moment to be in the big game, he’ll already be there.

  • Foreveris2long

    I say no on Gay and Carmelo and I am really not interested in giving a 1st round pick for banged up Gasol. I would make a trade for Young however.

  • BCrayZ

    Kudos to Miles & Gogi.

    Extra special kudos to Gogi for tonight’s home game vs. the Dubs

    Star of the game for sure with 34 (a new career high). Gogi shot 77% for the game & even 86% from deep. Plus he had his first double double in a good long time. Even more important he was a dominant plus 19 (+/-) for the game, next best to the plus 20 for Frye. Jeff did it. Gogi & Frye finished the game with “The Blur, just like the good old days. They sure do bring out each others’ best game. Barbosa was the most productive from the 2nd unit with a plus 7 for the game. Only took 4 shots. Made half of them. This brings his shooting % down to only 67% over the last four. T

  • BCrayZ

    Kudos to Miles & Gogi.

    Extra special kudos to Gogi for tonight’s home game vs. the Dubs

    Star of the game for sure with 34 (a new career high). Gogi shot 77% for the game & even 86% from deep. Plus he had his first double double in a good long time. Even more importantly, he was a dominant plus 19 (+/-) for the game, next best to the plus 20 for Frye. Jeff did it. Gogi & Frye finished the game with “The Blur”, just like the good old days. They sure do bring out each others’ best game. Barbosa was the most productive from the 2nd unit with a plus 7 for the game. Only took 4 shots. Made half of them. This brings his shooting % down to only 67% over the last four. This game makes 8 wins for our Suns in the 11 games since LB came back from his separated shoulder to play. Also, this makes 20 wins in a row when we score 110 or more. Frye took 10 of his 13 shots from inside the arc (making half of them) & also contributed 5 assists, a new high for him for the year. While he was quiet on the boards, that is where PJ helped the most. His 15 rebounds gave him a double-double (16 points with half of his 10 shots going down), leading our team to more than doubling the Dubs in a 54-26 rebounding rout. Tucker even led the team in steals with four. Even Miles joined Marc & LB in being perfect from the foul line. No sign of Alex. Perhaps his ankle is sore. Last but not least was Jeff. Made all the right moves this game, limiting Mark’s time & especially finishing with Gogi, Frye & LB playing at the same time to put the game away. Make it so Jeff.

    MUST start & ALSO finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!