The 2011 NBA All-Star Game will be held in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 20, and the fans at Staples Center will likely have several local players to root for. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers headed the All-Star starters, which were announced last Thursday. Tonight, at 4 p.m. PST on TNT, when the All-Star reserves will be announced, expect Blake Griffin and Pau Gasol to be Los Angeles players joining the Black Mamba.
Blake Griffin of the Clippers has been the talk of the league this season. His high-flying dunks already got him a ticket to the slam dunk contest, but the rookie of the year lock seems a likely choice for the All-Star game as well. Averaging 23.0 points and 12.7 rebounds, Griffin's numbers are hard to ignore.
Speaking of points and rebounds, former UCLA Bruin Kevin Love is destroying the boards this season. Love leads the league in total rebounds, offensive rebounds, and defensive rebounds, and is averaging 15.5 boards to go with his 21.7 points. In the last 30 years, here is the complete list of players to average 15 rebounds per game in a season: Moses Malone, Kevin Willis, Dennis Rodman (six times, plus another season at 14.9 boards per game), and Ben Wallace.
Pau Gasol is another likely reserve to be announced tonight. Averaging 18.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists as a key part of the triangle offense, Gasol is a good bet to make the All-Star team for the third consecutive season. Gasol was third in the Western Conference among forwards in fan voting, behind starters Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. Gasol has the added advantage of starting 32 games at center this season, which makes him a prime candidate to replace injured starter Yao Ming.
All-Star reserves are chosen by the coaches in each conference. Each coach is required to vote for two guards, two forwards, one center, and two other players, and they can't vote for players of their own team. Each reserve is assigned a numerical value of one through seven, in case a tiebreaker is needed. The 2011 NBA All-Star Game will be televised on TNT on Sunday night, February 20.