Every year, All-Star debate centers around a team or player. Player X was snubbed. Team Y needs more All-Stars because of their record. We could see a convergence of debate in the Western Conference frontcourt this season.
Players that deserve consideration for these spots include Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge and Anthony Davis.
Green is currently averaging 14.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game, numbers seen only by Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain.
Cousins has led a Kings resurgence. Sacramento is 4 games better than they were at this time last season. He is 3rd in scoring and 4th in rebounding. In the last 15 years, the only players to finish in the top-4 in both points and rebounds per game are Kevin Love and Kevin Garnett.
Griffin is averaging 23.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists. In the last 40 years, only Kevin Garnett, Antoine Walker, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have maintained those averages for a season. Will his games missed count against him?
Nowitzki is leading a surprise Mavericks team that is tied for 5th in the West. He was selected as an All-Star last season. And, his effective field goal percentage, rebound percentage, assist percentage, blocks percentage and steals percentage have all improved this season.
Aldridge could be the second Spurs All-Star (Kawhi Leonard). Is it possible that the 38-6 Spurs would have only 1 representative? Aldridge is still getting acclimated to the Spurs, but his shooting and scoring have improved every month. He’s averaging 17.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game on 53% shooting in January.
Davis is 6th in the NBA in efficiency, and the 5 players ahead of him are All-Star starters. Davis is averaging 23.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. No player has reached those numbers since Tim Duncan in 2001-02. But his team is currently 12th in the West.
Peter Newmann is an analyst and writer who spent 10 years at ESPN, 8 as the NBA senior researcher working 24/7 on the league. He wrote game notes for crews, articles for ESPN.com, analysis for studio shows, and regularly assisted reporters and writers. Follow him on Twitter, and check out his Web site, www.allball365.com.