The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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The rookie should be an All-Star

Rare No-Dunk Move: Clippers' star Blake Griffin (32) is more than a nightly broadcast highlight. He is putting up incredible numbers for a rookie, averaging 22.8 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. Photo Credit: Courtesy of MCT.

Staples Center will host the 60th annual NBA All-Star game Feb. 20, culminating what is shaping up to be a star-studded weekend both on and off the court. In a star-driven league, the game is a celebration of the household names that thrill us and entertain our imagination.

The All-Star starters for both the West and East teams were announced Thursday. They include familiar faces like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, who have a combined 18 years of All-Star experience, and some newer faces like Kevin Durant, who will be making his second appearance in the event.

The reserves will be announced Thursday and much like any other year, there are bound to be a couple of well-deserving players who will be left on the outside looking in, especially in the talent-loaded Western Conference.

Players like Golden State’s Monta Ellis and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, who are both averaging monster numbers,  are potential candidates to be snubbed from the game, but Los Angeles Clipper Blake Griffin should not be one of them.

Griffin should make the team because he has the skill to maximize his freakish athleticism and has been one of the best players in the league, not just because he is on sports highlight reels dunking every night.

It is hard to ignore Griffin’s statistics as of late. He is averaging 25.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game over his last 30 games while recording 39 double-doubles this season, second only to the Timberwolves’ Kevin Love with 40.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in a game against the Indiana Pacers, Griffin showed he is more than just a walking highlight film when he posted a career-high 47 points despite only having one dunk. With an array of elaborate spin moves, graceful use of the glass and knockdown jumpers, Griffin showed he has the versatility to contribute on offense.

Still there are those that will say the Los Angeles Clippers do not have a winning record and thus do not deserve to have a player in the All-Star game even if it’s one of Griffin’s caliber.

However, despite starting off the season with a dismal 5-21 record, the Clippers have had a 12-7 record since, with impressive wins over the Heat and Lakers. Griffin performed so well in the second half of the game against their cross-town rivals that it even prompted the All-Star leading vote getter Bryant to say he “punked” the Laker big men.

The Clippers may not have a winning record, but they have drastically improved since their sluggish start and have shown they have the talent and cohesiveness to compete with anybody in the league. Griffin has been a large part of that.

Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl put it best after a road loss to the Clippers back on Jan. 5 when he said, “If you think your going to come to Staples Center against the Clippers and pick up an easy victory, you got another thing coming.”

And if you’re one of the people that tune in to a NBA All-Star game to be entertained, who better to put on an All-Star jersey than the most exciting player in basketball. If Griffin can seamlessly put out highlights on a nightly basis in meaningful games, imagine what he can do in a game where defense is optional for the majority of the event.

Maybe it’s just me who thinks a player with a rare mixture of athleticism and skill to compliment such an unrelenting effort in every play of the game that should be rewarded.

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