LA to L.A. Rejected
Duncan’s lifetime achievement award nixes Aldridge’s All-Star bid.
No doubt, Tim Duncan is arguably the best power forward to ever walk the face of the earth. But he’s not the best this year. Duncan was voted on to the 2011 All-Star team as a reserve by the coaches, excluding the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Monta Ellis.
I understand that the San Antonio Spurs have the NBA’s best record and the coaches probably felt like at least two Spurs deserved to be on the squad. Then again, there’s another Spurs candidate who is more deserving, Tony Parker.
Parker is averaging 17.3 points per game to go along with 6.8 assist per game, opposed to Duncan’s 13.9 ppg and 9.4 rpg. Parker is still in the prime of his career while Duncan’s game has deteriorated immensely.
Aldridge should have received the All-Star bid instead of Duncan. You can make the same case for Love also, but, my reasoning comes down to facts and stats.
Head-to-head, January 17, against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Aldridge won the game and match-up against Love going for 37 and 12 to Love’s 22 and 17. January 20, nationally televised game, Aldridge leads the Portland Trail Blazers to victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Aldridge finishes with 28 and 8 while Blake Griffin ended with 20 and 18 off of 6-17 from the field. Then, to really make my case, Tuesday night Aldridge exploded for a 40-point ,11-rebound performance in a rout of the Spurs. Duncan finished with 15 and 7.
In the wining days, Aldridge went up against the top power forwards who challenged his All-Star invite and not only did he win the individual battles, he went 3-0 during those contest.
We’ve often ridiculed the fans for not selecting the right All-Star starters. We’ve questioned if the fans had the know-how to select the 10 best players at each position. The fans got it right this time — aside from the Yao Ming selection, as the coaches decided to turn their vote into a lifetime achievement award.
What Aldridge has done since Brandon Roy went out with a knee injury has been simply sensational. He’s averaging 25 ppg and 10 rpg during the absence of Roy as teams have been forced to game-plan for the emergence of Aldridge on the block to no avail. The Blazers are hanging on to that final Playoff spot and Aldridge is the main reason why.
At this point, the Blazers’ last hope rest with NBA commissioner David Stern. Stern must find a replacement for Yao Ming, who is out for the year.
The way I see it, there are three serious candidates in Aldridge, Nash and Love for two possible spots. Deron Williams might sit out the All-Star game due to a strained tendon in his right wrist. Thus, if Stern chooses to overlook Aldridge for Yao’s spot, there still may be one last hope if Williams sits.
Stern has the opportunity to correct the mistakes of the coaches and reward a franchise who has had the worst luck. ‘LA to L.A.’ will bring back life into the Blazers’ fan base. Seeing their own in Los Angeles playing among the best of the best during this tumultuous season would be gratifying.
Stern, do the right thing.