HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Blake Griffin will be in Los Angeles for All-Star Weekend, of this we can all be sure.
The Clippers’ power forward is the headliner in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest and the odds-on favorite to take home that crown. But his weekend should be busy with more than just the dunks and the Rookie Challenge.
But there’s a bigger question lingering as we get closer to February: Should Griffin be playing Sunday in the All-Star Game?
He’s already among the most feared players in the game and he has the numbers — 21.8 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 23 straight double doubles –to back up any All-Star campaign.
We asked a veteran league observer this morning if Griffin deserves to be an All-Star this season and before we could get the words out, he cut us off.
“Yes, yes he should be an All-Star,” he said. “Blake Griffin has come in as rookie and become the most exciting player in the league, playing for the Clippers, which is pretty hard to do. Other players look for Clippers games. That’s how nice he is. They’re like, ‘let me watch the Clippers tonight and see what this beast is going to do.’ Who wouldn’t want to see that man in the All-Star Game?”
The knock most traditionalists will bring up is the Clippers’ ugly 13-24 record. It’s the same argument some people will make to squash the All-Star candidacy of Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love.
Love’s case for a spot on the team is just as strong as Griffin’s, if not stronger. He leads the league in rebounds (15.8) and double doubles (35) and is also averaging 21.5 points while shooting a wicked 46 percent from beyond the 3-point line. Like Griffin, Love is playing both ends of the floor like few players on the planet are capable of doing it these days.
We posed the same should he be an All-Star question about Love to another longtime league watcher, and he was quick to praise the work that Love has done.
“Anyone that tells you Kevin Love shouldn’t be on that team because of the Timberwolves’ record knows nothing about the game of basketball,” he said emphatically. “This guy isn’t just having a great season on a bad team. He’s putting up numbers that transcend the era. Average guys don’t do this anymore. Regular guys don’t do this. All-Stars do work like this and Love should be an All-Star. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
The Wolves’ 10-30 record will be hard for some people to overlook.
What about you?