Gasol an All-Star Starter, Z-Bo Snubbed Despite Impressive Season

Posted on February 2, 2015

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By: Cameron Andrew

gasol

For the first time in the history of the franchise, the Grizzlies have an All-Star starter in Marc Gasol. Gasol will be joined in the starting lineup by Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin and Kobe Bryant, who has been replaced by DeMarcus Cousins on the All-Star roster due to a torn rotator cuff that will see him sitting out the rest of the season.

With Marc’s stat line of 18.7 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 3.8 APG, 0.89 SPG and 1.70 BPG it is not hard to see why he was voted as a starter by the fans.

As obvious as it is to see why Marc made the All-Star game, it might be harder to see why Zach Randolph did not. Z-Bo has been great this season and on a tear in January, giving teams fits on the offensive end.

Back off Z-Bo at all and he will bury the lean back jumper; press up on him and he’ll put it on the floor and drive to the basket. Seemingly in a perfect rhythm on the offensive end of the floor, he is averaging 19.2 PPG and 13.5 RPG. In the month of January, Z-Bo has an impressive 57.6% from the floor, 17.0 PPG and 12.0 RPG with a .510 shooting percentage for the entire season. If those aren’t All-Star caliber numbers, I don’t know what is.

Fellow Western Conference power forward, and arguably one of the great PF/C to ever play the game, Tim Duncan made the All-Star roster as a reserve. While the coaches of the All-Star teams select their reserves, it’s hard to believe that Golden State Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, over looked Z-Bo for Duncan.

Kerr, a former teammate of Duncan’s, won a championship with the Spurs in 2003 in his final season as a player in the NBA. Perhaps that had some pull on Kerr selecting Duncan. However, when you compare Duncan’s numbers to Randolph’s, it’s tough to find how Kerr came to the conclusion that Duncan deserved the spot of Z-Bo.

Duncan is averaging 14.7 PPG, second lowest average in his 18 year NBA career, while pulling down 10.1 RPG. Not only that but Duncan’s production has been down as of late January, and is only averaging 12.2 PPG, 8.7 RPG while shooting at a .492 percentage.

It seems pretty clear who has been the better player this season. Not only has Z-Bo out preformed Duncan all year but in the month leading up to the All-Star game, Zach showed that he belongs in New York with Gasol and the rest of the best in the Western Conference.

You have to give credit where it is, and Tim Duncan deserves recognition for his Hall of Fame career. However, when it comes to All-Star games it’s about putting the best from each conference on two teams against one another. Without Zach Randolph on the Western Conference All-Star team, I do not think it will the best of the best.

As of right now, Zach’s only hope is that Portland Trailblazer’s LaMarcus Aldridge decides that it’s too risky to play in the game with a torn ligament in his left hand, an injury that was initially thought to require surgery and knock Aldridge out of competition for 6-8 weeks. Aldridge postponed surgery in hopes of making it the rest of the season without too much of an incident.

Should Aldridge decide not to play, let’s all hope Z-Bo gets the call and claims his rightful spot as 2015 NBA All-Star. The All-Star game will take place February 15th at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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Posted in: Grizzlies, Sports