by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

When the Memphis Grizzlies acquired Zach Randolph from the Clippers, most people — myself included — simply assumed that his downward spiral into total irrelevancy would continue.

Instead, Z-Bo has led the surging Grizzlies into Playoff contention (currently holding the 7th seed in the Western Conference), and is having himself a tremendous season.

For his efforts, Randolph appears to be a shoo-in for the All-Star game next month. According to a report in the Commercial Appeal, Zach will be named as a reserve for the big game tonight:

Zach Randolph will be named an All-Star reserve for the Western Conference, according to sources with knowledge of the voting.

Randolph, a nine-year veteran, will make his first All-Star appearance during the Feb. 14 game in Dallas. He entered Wednesday night’s game at Detroit as the only Western Conference player averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Grizzlies’ power forward is averaging nearly 21 points and a career-high 11.5 rebounds.

Despite his enormous talent, there was so little belief in what Zach Randolph would accomplish in Memphis this season, that the NBA didn’t even bother to put his name on the All-Star voting ballots.

Here’s to hoping this is the start of a new and upward trend for Z-Bo’s career, and not just a one-year accident.