Zach Randolph has been on a terror this season. Randolph is averaging 20 points and 13 rebounds a game. Randolph's impact often goes unnoticed when talking about the Memphis Grizzlies.
This offseason Rudy Gay signed a maximum contract that was worth about $82 million. Rudy Gay may have the maximum contract, but Randolph is the best player wearing a Grizzlies jersey.
Randolph is a throwback player who relies on an array of moves and fundamentals to make his living in the paint. Randolph's tireless work ethic on the boards is another way that he punishes defenders.
Power forwards such as Blake Griffin, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol and Amar'e Stoudemire all possess height or freakish athleticism that cannot be matched up with. Z-Bo is the total opposite from majority of the power forwards in the NBA. Randolph plays below the rim with a game similar to Wes Unseld. Being an undersized power forward standing at 6'9" Z-Bo has to battle against players who surpass him in height and athletic ability.
The lefty from Michigan State has been a great presence since he arrived in Memphis. Before playing in Memphis Z-Bo was often scrutinized for his off-court antics and his immaturity on the basketball court. Change has been something that propelled Randolph to the next level. Last season Randolph made his first All-Star Game and it seems that he is making a case for a second bid.
The All-Star Game is a popularity contest so that does not benefit Randolph, because he plays in a small market.
Making the All-Star Game in the Western Conference is a very tedious task. Playing the forward position means that competition is very clogged with the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.
The final roster selections may come down to Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and Zach Randolph. All three players deserve All-Star bids, but it is highly unlikely that all three of them will make it.
It would be great to see a blue-collar player in Zach Randolph play in the All-Star Game for a second consecutive season, but it is more of a fantasy more than a reality.