Blog Entry

All-Star Debate: Love vs. Griffin vs. Aldridge

Posted on: January 31, 2011 8:16 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 6:26 am
Who deserves the reserve forward spot for the West? Our NBA crew debates LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, and Blake Griffin for a spot.
Posted by Matt Moore

All-Star reserves will be announced on Thursday, and par for the course, the coaches have some tough decisions. We'll be debating the merits of each choice the coaches will have to make. These debates don't necessarily reflect the actual opinions of the writers. Think of it as opposition research, only if we opposed everyone. Our first debate? LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Blake Griffin vs. Kevin Love. 

LaMarcus Aldridge: The professional's choice

by Ben Golliver

Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan has spearheaded the All-Star campaign for his power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, and that's no accident. Aldridge's play this year has been a coach's dream and, as coaches happen to vote on these things, who better than his coach to lay out the credentials? In the face of another disastrous injury-plagued season, Aldridge has been a rock. He's No. 7 in the minute in minute's played and No. 1 overall for big men. Despite playing on one of the league's slowest-paced teams, playing next to one of the league's premier rebounders, and shifting from "B" option to "A" option on offense, Aldridge has posted 21 points per game and nine rebounds per game averages, career-high marks in both categories. 

In addition to his consistency and production, Aldridge has done what his All-Star competitors haven't been able to do: keep Portland above .500. The Blazers, despite losing two of their three franchise building blocks along with multiple other players to season-ending knee surgeries, are 25-21 and firmly in the Western Conference playoff picture. Coaches love winning and they love winning players. Aldridge has improved as a passer and offense facilitator, and he's also focused more of his attention on banging in the paint, working the boards and finishing at the rim, evidenced by his high dunk numbers. This turn of play has been a long-awaited revelation in the Rose City, and coaches love development and hard work. 

They also love winning. When Aldridge needed tests done on a sore hip recently, Portland fans were forced to confront a Blazers unit without Aldridge, and the mental image wasn't pretty. The poor-shooting, inconsistent group that would be left if Aldridge missed time would be on par with the dregs of the league, like the Cleveland Cavaliers or, you know, the Minnesota Timberwolves with Kevin Love. Numbers without Ws are just numbers, and hopefully the coaches get this one right.

Blake Griffin: Putting the "star" in "exploding star of dunk violence that could destroy the universe"

by Royce Young

Blake Griffin doesn't have the big rebounding numbers like Kevin Love. His team isn't a winner like LaMarcus Aldridge's. 

And yet, I'm about to tell you why Griffin is the no-brainer choice. 

It all comes back to his 47-point explosion against the Pacers. Griffin, who has set the league on fire with his high-flying dunks, his ridiculous putbacks and wild alley-oops, had just one dunk in his best game of the season. One. This is the guy that leads the league in dunks and scores more than 25 percent of his points on crams. Except in his very best game, he only stuffed it once. 

The reason? Because he's maybe the most uniquely skilled power forward in the league. He runs the floor like a small forward, jumps like shooting guard and handles and passes like a point. Blake Griffin, is seriously one of the most physically gifted players in the league. 

And not to say he doesn't have big-time numbers. He's fourth in the league in rebounding (12.8 per game), averages 22.6 points a game and even dishes out 3.5 assists a night. All while capturing our imaginations every night while we wait for the next super highlight. The All-Star Game is looking for supreme talent, big numbers and a superstar entity that won't let us take our eyes off him. If Griffin isn't the guy that fits all of that and more, then we've seriously got to re-evaluate what we want.

Kevin Love: Simply exceptional

by Matt Moore

Kevin Love is the best rebounder in the league. That's pretty much it. If you have a guy who's the best in the NBA at something as valuable and necessary as rebounding to the game of basketball, that person deserves to be in the All-Star game. He leads the league in offensive, defensive, and total rebounds per game and per 40 minutes. He's second behind Marcus Camby in percentage of available rebounds snagged while playing nine fewer minutes. He's the primary concern from an opposing rebounder's perspective, and yet he's been dominant. This in a league that features quite a few great rebounders, most notably Dwight Howard who is a monster among boys most of the time, physically.

But that's just the rebounding. It would be one thing were he Dennis Rodman whose only trick in the bag offensively was rebounding. But Love is averaging 21 points per game, on 47% shooting, and hitting 45% from three. Is there a more well-rounded offensive weapon outside the truly elite forwards in this league? Sure, the team is woeful and Love gets a fair number of rebounds off his own miss and by snagging his teammates' boards. But he's still fighting for each and every one while carrying a huge load of the Wolves' offense, and outside of Beasley, is the only real threat on that team. 

To punish Love for the fact that his teammates are well, chosen by David Kahn is to miss the point of the All-Star game: to represent the best players in the league.  Kevin Love is unquestionably one of those.  He's got the huge games (30 rebounds, are you serious?) to his credit, the consistency, the offensive ability, the name recognition, and the superb elitism at his position. To exempt Love from the All-Star game is to become too far removed from the very word: star. Just because he's anchored by his franchise and he doesn't dominate with a fadeaway jumper does not mean that he's not worthy of the honor. Kevin Love should be an All-Star. 


Since: Mar 15, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2011 7:33 pm

All-Star Debate: Love vs. Griffin vs. Aldridge

I hear Zbo is out even after he old schooled Love last night. All the hype for them but Griffin & Love teams going nowhere.  Zach is carrying his team at least to a winning record. 

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2011 3:28 pm

All-Star Debate: Love vs. Griffin vs. Aldridge

Uh, did any of you see the game last night between the Grizz and Timberwolves. It was interesting to watch Z-Bo and Love tangle, and it was clear who the allstar was: Z-Bo had 23 pts and 13 rbs to Love's 10 and 10... Really I think all but two of Love's points came with Z-Bo on the bench.

Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2011 10:25 am

All-Star Debate: Love vs. Griffin vs. Aldridge

For the 'other team'? I don't get that one. As for the wins, Griffen hasn't done much either. Wait and see what the Clips record is when they play as many road games as the t-wolves have.

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: February 1, 2011 11:59 pm

All-Star Debate: Love vs. Griffin vs. Aldridge

I am an NBA fan from Milwaukee.  The All-Star game is about buzz, entertainment and bringing excitement to the game.  If the game was about turn around jumpers and face up post game moves, I'd pick Aldridge.  If it was about good free throw shooting and rebounding position, I'd pick Love.  It's about excitement and fun, and the number one most fun player to watch in the league right now is Blake Griffin.  I want to see him jump over the rim and dunk with his ankle.  I want to see him do things I have never seen done before.  He's the best spokesman for the NBA right now and I want him in the All-Star game.  To not pick him would be criminal.  Pick Aldridge for the second or third team All-Pro team at the end of the year, but please take Griffin for this game.  I say this as a fan of the game and not b/c he's the best player statistically.

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 8:11 pm

Head to Head Match Ups: Griffin vs Aldridge

For all those who say that Aldridge deserves the spot because he dominated Griffin in their last head to head matchup, let's just look at the stats for all the games shall we...

Game 1:
Griffin- 20 pts/14 boards/4 assists
Aldridge- 19 pts/10 boards/1 assist

Game 2:
Griffin- 21 pts/15 boards/2 assists
Aldridge- 4 pts/4 boards/1 assist

Game 3:
Griffin- 20 pts/18 boards/4 assists
Aldridge- 28 pts/8 boards/3 assists

It is so clear that Aldridge has dominated Blake in head to head matchups...I really can't believe the things that people write sometimes...

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: February 1, 2011 6:44 pm

All-Star Debate: Love vs. Griffin vs. Aldridge

See my comment below. Since both teams have winning records look at hte following. Portland has won the head to head against the Clippers thus far and Aldridge has dominated Griffin. Aldridge bothered Griffin so much he had to alter his shot and had a hard time shooting over him. So if this is your arguement then Aldridge should be in as his team beat the Clippers and Aldridge won the one on one match up against Griffin.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:38 pm

All-Star Debate: Love vs. Griffin vs. Aldridge

The talks about winning support Blake Griffin every bit as much as Aldridge, as a rookie he has taking a perrenial losing team and has them playing over .500 ball.  A rookie doesn't make that kind of an impact their first year (not normally), it took some time and Baron Davis getting injurred to realize what he brings to that team, but they are a team noone looks forward to facing anymore.  I ussually don't give so much credit to a rookie but this kid turns heads and makes others around him better.  Leads in dunks, passing, scoring and eye popping effects.  AllStar equals offense and who is the better offensive player, not to mention he is no sluff defensively either.  he really should be named the first reserve, I don't care if he is a rookie.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:30 pm

All-Star Debate: Love vs. Griffin vs. Aldridge

I would hope more than one of these guys will go, I like them better than some older guys who are almost assuredly making it.

Kevin Durant and Carmello Anthony are starting, then coaches have to decide between the following:

Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzky, Pau Gasol are 3 PF that may automatically make it.  We do have a center position open and we could leave it open to allow for more PFs.  I hear the question about 7 reserves, but it wasn't mentioned of others almost guaranteed.

This is the All Star game and noone is going to play more than 30 minutes if they get over 24.  There will be at least 3 guards, so if they don't take a center we could have 2 more spots which could allow for two of the three, but we still need to address maybe a backup SF as well.  So here is what I suggest.  Pau Gasol goes in as a Center, Blake griffin goes as SF, Kevin Love is the Back up Center we let Tim Duncan or Dirk Nowitzky rest and LaMarcus Aldridge get the final spot ends the debate.  Either way the West has many great forwards and this does leave off Zach Randolph and David West, maybe if they were in the East?? 

I don't see that happening, but it would be fun.  How can you really chose, do you take away what Tim and Dirk have done, to add excitement and intensity in a game that is all about the offense and 250 point total scoring.  Maybe they will help and refuse for medical reasoning.

Since: Feb 1, 2011
Posted on: February 1, 2011 2:58 pm

All-Star Debate: Love vs. Griffin vs. Aldridge

Yea dude, imagine him as 4 or 5 year verteran......

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 1:59 pm

LaMarcus Aldridge has the edge

In the league, winning means everything. In the last three years LaMarcus has helped his team to a 129-81 record and consecutive playoff appearances. As Ben has so aptly said, Aldridge has had to carry the Blazer team this year. Even when Brandon Roy was healthy LaMarcus was #1 option on offense until crunch time. This year he had dedicated his game to his mother who has cancer. It shows in every phase that this is the premier power forward in the league. He is team oriented, never grabbing rebounds from teammates or missing tips to up his offensive rebounds as Love does. He is a veteran who get the nod over a rookie who has not led his team anywhere. Then there is the head-to-head matchups between Aldridge and Love (Aldreidge dominated) and between Aldridge and Griffin (Griffin was nearly shut down while Aldridge was in the game and Aldridge scored at will). Any good player can look like an All-Star on a bad team. On a good team great players find the open man and are not concerned with stats. This is LaMarcus Aldridge this year. This is Aldridge's All-Star year. See also Bleacher Report:



ch-team. Of all the NBA Power Forwards, this report selects LaMarcus Aldridge first, Blake Griffin fourth and Kevin Love fifteenth. Convinced?

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