NBA: Intense battle between Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard to finish third in All-Stars
If the All-Star game happened today, Draymond Green would be starting for the Western All Stars. Green is third among Western Conference frontcourt players in the NBA All-Star voting, placing him on track to earn a starting spot for the game in Toronto next month. Green overtook the Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin and San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard for the third spot over the past week, during which he notched three consecutive triple-doubles.
"Who knows how it finishes out, but just to be at that point right now is pretty amazing," Green said.
He continued ,” I don't take it for granted. That's special to me. If I can sneak into the game in general, I'm thankful for that. I'm not greedy at all. But just to see the fan appreciation ... I'm thankful for that because all the hard work that goes into this."
And somewhere in Texas, Kawhi Leonard, the 2014 Finals MVP and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, has yet to make an all-star team in his career.
The fifth-year forward is putting up career highs in points per game (20.7), field goal percentage (51.9%), three-point percentage (50.0%), free-throw percentage (88.7%), and assists per game (2.7).
Leonard is currently trailing Green for the third starting frontcourt spot on the West's All-Star team by a little more than 1000 votes. He is the only Spur who seems to have a real shot at starting the game.
Tim Duncan is at seventh place in the frontcourt category with 228,995 votes, while LaMarcus Aldridge comes in at eleventh with 124,404. With the worldwide following the Spurs command, it would not take much to vote Leonard into a starting role.
This period of voting is crucial since the competition is more scrutinized and the fans tend to vote between the competitors.
While there is some serious campaigning from the Warriors to make Green a starter, the Spurs have been relatively quiet about it. It will be interesting to see how the fans vote now, given the fact that they have to decide between Durant, Leonard and Green for the remaining 2 forwards spots available in the West’s roster.
Regardless of how the ballot results turn out, both players will end up making the All Star game as they are both having fantastic seasons.
But it's a special honor to be chosen by the fans. And with it comes the privilege to be a starter, which is extra special and reward for the hard work players put into the game.
The next 10 days until the close of the ballot will be a close race between Green- Kawhi to become an All-Star starter for the first time.
Nevertheless, both players would become All Stars for the first time in their careers.
The irony here is that Leonard is the reigning defensive player of the year and could have easily been an All-Star last year. Also, one must remember that Green was on an All-NBA defensive first team and a NBA champion.
These are high profile resumes and becoming an All-Star is just a celebration of the great careers these two are having right now.