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NBA / Sep 3, 2010 / 10:00 am

The Western Conference’s Next All-Star

Al Jefferson (photo. Bethany Gilbert)

NBA All-Star Weekend is a time when the League clarifies the status of it’s players. With the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge, we identify the future stars. In the Three-Point Shootout we declare the best shooter in the game (at least for one night). And the main event of the weekend is suppose to gives us a clear picture of who the Top 24 players are in the world. However, every year there are deserving players who are unfairly left off the rosters due to the numbers game. Looking back at history, Mike Bibby in Sacramento was a player who comes to mind when thinking of these scenarios, while Byron Scott was another. With all that said, after being traded out of a bad situation in Minnesota, this will finally be the year that Al Jefferson takes his name off of this list.

Now that Jefferson is playing for a contender, people should respect his numbers a lot more. Before last season, he averaged greater than 21 points and 11 rebounds for two consecutive years, and double-double numbers like that are hard to overlook. However, All-Star voters have unfairly disregarded these stats due to his team’s horrible record. Thankfully, they won’t be able to use that excuse this year.

Big Al finally has a real point guard to feed him the ball in the post. And as we’ve seen through history, a good big man is nothing without a good guard to get him the rock. And Deron Williams is a major upgrade in that department. Also, Utah’s overall ball moment should assist the Jefferson in a big way, meaning the possibilities are endless.

If there’s one thing to be excited about, it’s the fact that Jerry Sloan and the Jazz know how to utilize their power forwards. From Hall of Famer Karl Malone to Carlos Boozer to even Paul Millsap off the bench, the Jazz always get great production from the four spot. With his wide frame, physical play and good foot work, he should fit in quite nicely with Williams in the pick-and-roll game. Without a doubt, Sloan’s system will take Big Al’s game to the next level. And next February, the premiere of a new big star will be the talk of the red carpet in Los Angeles.

What do you think?

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  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    I always used to think that Pau Gasol was a good player on bad team stat wise when he played for the Grizz (even under Hubie). Now that he is on the Lakers in a great system he delivers more efficiently and effectively. I sort of see Jefferson in the same light. Maybe he won’t be the 20-10 guy we saw before but he’ll be more effective in Sloan’s system with Deron. Or maybe he’ll be the second coming of Vin Baker. I don’t know.

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    Let me correct myself. A sober Vin Baker.

  • CTP

    Al is going to average 24 and 12 and the jazz are gong to the WCF, maybe even the finals. Mark it down!

  • Crew Dizzy

    I agree I think he will be an all star. Playing on team that people actually watch and with a great point guard like D Will will make him an all star finally. In addition, Boozer and Stats play in the east now, so that kind of clears the way for him to make it this year. He won’t be voted a starter by the fans, but he’ll be a coaches selection.

  • frank white

    big al is solid. good fundamentals. and on a team where the small things and hustle plays matter.

  • Crew Dizzy

    @ CTP

    The Jazz in the finals? Let’s not go that far, yea they got Al but they lost a lot of their depth. Don’t forget Matthews, Boozer, and Korver all gone. This team was swept by the Lakers last year, even with big Al and a health Mehmet I don’t think they beat the Lakers.

  • Crew Dizzy

    @ CTP

    The Jazz in the finals? Let’s not go that far, yea they got Al but they lost a lot of their depth. Don’t forget Matthews, Boozer, and Korver all gone. This team was swept by the Lakers last year, even with big Al and a healthy Mehmet I don’t think they beat the Lakers.

  • SJ

    Everyone knows all was the biggest All Star snub for 09. He’ll be a 20-10 guy again this year and probably get snubbed again…

  • JH

    Big Al will be an All Star unless injuries keep him off the court.

  • Jared

    It would help Al’s All-Star bid if Carmelo gets traded to an Eastern team. Amar’e going East already helps, but with Yao coming back he is almost guaranteed to get a starting spot with the Chinese vote. It’s also possible that Z-Bo and Kaman won’t be as good as they were last year and Al could be a reserve ahead of them.

  • me

    jazz will be worse, and Al will be a black hole in the paint. No all star.

    Mark my words.

  • Heckler

    does al jefferson make it to the allstar game before lamarcus aldridge?

  • DownhillDemon

    ball movement

  • Heckler

    and standing in his way:

    carmelo anthony
    kevin durant
    dirk nowitzki
    timmy duncan (if hes on the ballot as a forward)
    pau gasol
    zach randolph
    david west
    rudy gay (1st time allstar this yr?)
    lamar odom, ron artest (dont be surprised to see LA get 3-4 players in the game)
    david lee (might have better numbers in Nellies system)
    lamarcus aldridge
    caron butler

    al jefferson can possibly make the allstar team this year, but hes gonna have to put in work to get the coaches to select him. cause you know damn well fans aint voting you in when you play in minny and utah

  • Mike “Patheti” Mihalow

    I agree with the first 5 people on Heckler’s list. They are all better. Unless Carmelo gets traded to the East, then there’s no chance.

  • http://www.slcdunk.com AllThatJazz / Amar

    when dwill first talked to al jeff after the trade, deron said “i’m going to make you an all-star”.

    for what it’s worth . . .

  • Big B

    Why is Al Jefferson classified as a power forward? To me he is hands down a center. Wouldn’t UTAH start him at centre and let Paul Milsap play power forward?

  • Caderade

    It helps his cause a little bit that Boozer and Amare are in the east now. He’s got a good chance to make it if he can learn the Jazz’s offense quickly and if he can stay healthy, but those are two big ifs.

  • Caderade

    It would probably be easier for him to make it as a center than a forward. The west is full of good forwards, but at the 5 there’s Yao Ming, then… who? Bynum, maybe? I guess we’ll see how the Jazz decide to play him once Okur comes back.

  • jzsmoove

    dude reminds me of Kemp in this photo.

  • http://www.nba.com/mavericks/ cubano

    Amen