Blake Griffin is among the hundred or so West forwards hoping to be named to the NBA All-Star reserves. The official announcement will land at 7 PM ET on TNT. The L.A. Clippers' rookie is fighting for one of the maximum five big man All-Star slots out West with Pau Gasol, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, David West and Lamar Odom.
Gasol and Nowitzki are locks, and Duncan -- whose Spurs have the league's best record and no All-Star starters -- seems a likely addition. Love is certainly deserving of a spot. That doesn't leave much room for Griffin, the most electric rookie since Kevin Durant, or perhaps even LeBron James.
Well, we know Griffin received at least one vote. Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry told FoxSports Southwest this week that he indeed voted for Griffin.
"He's the best athlete in the league right now," Gentry said. "I don't think people realize how hard he plays and how competitive he is."
If Griffin isn't voted as an All-Star reserve by Western Conference coaches, who must select two forwards but also have two ballot slots for players at any position, he could still make the game as an injury replacement. The West All-Star will have at least one replacement slot due to Yao Ming's fan vote win as the starting center. Commissioner David Stern does not have to pick a center to replace Yao; Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who will lead the West All-Stars into battle, will select a new starter from among his reserves.