Why Russell Westbrook deserves to start in 2017 NBA All-Star Game

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Nov 2, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (right) attempts to foul Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (left) during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. The Oklahoma City Thunder won 85-83. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

First returns of NBA All-Star fan votes have Russell Westbrook pitted in a battle to make the cut as a starter. A statistical comparison of the top 6 vote recipients from each conference offers equally compelling arguments, but logic narrows the choice.

Russell Westbrook will discover Thursday (January 12th) where he ranks in the second round of returns for NBA All-Star fan voting.  Following up from my earlier article, the Association has presumably fixed the issue with incorrectly spelled player names.  But, will the fixes to include misspelled ballots combined with daily voting be enough to move Westbrook into a starting position?

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Last week when the NBA released the first round of votes, many fans and pundits were shocked, specifically by Westbrook not ranking as a starter. Historically the backcourt has been the most competitive position to win entry to the All-Star Game. The Western Conference in particular has copious guards deserving of an appearance.

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That said, it’s hard to fathom Westbrook not starting given his performance to date.  Firstly, it’s been over 50 years since a player averaged a triple-double.  Moreover, of all the point guards in a playoff position, Westbrook is the only player without another All-Star caliber player on his team. As much as Thunder fans can appreciate Steven Adams or Victor Oladipo they aren’t close to being in the running for an All-Star selection.

It’s no secret this generation of the NBA could well be deemed “the Point Guard era.”  In fact, across both Conferences the four starting backcourt spots offer the greatest intrigue.

Based on the top 6 vote recipients in each conference let’s examine the stats and who is most deserving to claim the starting spots at guard.

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