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Column: Western All-Star squad breakdown

By Eddie Leonard
On January 29, 2014

The fans have spoken once again in the 2014 NBA All-Star starters selection ballot. However, this year the results were the most intriguing, inconsistent and even perhaps, the most biased results we have seen in a long time.
The starters for the Western Conference will be Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and of course, Kevin Durant. To some people this lineup is just like any other, but to NBA junkies it means so much more.
When I look at this lineup I see hard work paying off, the start of a new era, the benefits of being flashy, and much more.
Hard work paying off: Kevin Love has been a walking double-double ever since he entered the league in 2008-09, but sadly he flies under the radar due to the fact that he plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love is currently averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds per game. Those are impressive stats due to the fact that he is the only one on his team that can play. Love's game mirrors that of Tim Duncan's in the fact that he has all the fundamentals but is not a flashy player. However he can fill up a stat sheet like it is nobody's business. Love is that player that always gets that killer offensive rebound when the other team needs the ball back. He is averaging seven more points a game than Dwight Howard, and guess what, he shoots 81 percent from the free throw line; I will save you the pain and not even tell you what Howard shoots. The bottom line is that Love is a well-deserved recipient of a starting position in this year's All-Star Game.
Start of a new era: Chris Paul's injuries may have paved the way to Stephen Curry gaining future control of the starting point guard position. It is hard to argue with a player that averages 24 ppg., 9.2 apg. and 4.1 rpg. On top of that he is a 90 percent foul shooter for his career and is shooting the deep ball at 46 percent this year. Scoring is in Curry's blood, as he is becoming one of the most popular players in the NBA not only due to his lights out shooting, but also because of how humble he is about it.
Overrated: After Blake Griffin posturized both Timofey Mozgov and Kendrick Perkins, he pretty much earned himself a spot in every future All Star game. Don't get me wrong, he deserves to be an All-Star, he is averaging 22.8 ppg and 9.8 rpg., but he is still overrated in a sense. Griffin lacks a signature post move, like a Duncan bank shot or a Kevin Garnett 17-footer. I believe Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, another underrated player similar to Love, deserved the starting bid. Aldridge averages 24 points and nearly 12 rebounds a game, while also shooting 82 percent from the charity stripe. His numbers speak for themselves.
What happened: The fact that Kobe Bryant was voted to start in the All-Star Game is so disrespectful to all the dedication players like Aldridge, for example, put into the game. Bryant is a shell of himself when he is on the court, but he wasn't even on the court for more than 90 percent of the year! How can he be an All-Star if he has not even played. The NBA should not allow that to happen again in the future.
Of course: Kevin Durant is having the best season of his career. I have nothing more to say. He deserves this All-Star position more than anyone. But I am sure he cares more about a championship ring than another All-Star appearance or even a possible MVP award.

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