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NBA All-Star Game: The Case For Blake Griffin

In the fourth and final update of NBA All-Star voting, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers moved up to fourth place among Western Conference forwards. It is the highest showing so far for Griffin, but it appears if the dunking power forward will make an All-Star appearance on his home floor at Staples Center on February 20, it will be as a reserve and not as a starter. This was the final update to fan balloting prior to the starters being announced in two weeks.

Griffin is fourth among Western Conference forwards in All-Star voting, trailing only Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Pau Gasol, and in fact made a push in the last two weeks:

NBA All-Star Voting Western Conference Forwards
Player Team Dec 30 Jan 13 Last 2 Weeks
Kevin Durant OKC 735,521 1,270,729 535,208
Carmelo Anthony    Den 602,516 945,720 343,204
Blake Griffin LAC 435,857 702,784 266,927
Pau Gasol LAL 597,201 851,456 254,255

Griffin has gained nearly 13,000 votes on Pau Gasol for third place in the last two weeks, but with less than two weeks remaining in the voting, the nearly 150,000-vote deficit seems too large to overcome. The third spot is important because there is a reasonable chance Anthony gets traded out of conference, to either the Nets or Knicks, which of course would open up a spot for another starter in the West.

In addition, there will be a spot open at center, as leading vote-getter Yao Ming of the Rockets is out for the season. A Los Angeles-centric dream scenario would be for Gasol, with 31 starts this season at center, to start in place of Yao at center, with Griffin starting in place of the traded Carmelo. That would give the Staples Center faithful three starters playing on their home court, along with Kobe Bryant, who leads all NBA players in All-Star votes.

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