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Nowitzki on Griffin: 'Hard to keep him out'

2/4/2011

BOSTON -- Dirk Nowitzki will make his 10th consecutive All-Star appearance later this month just as Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin will make his first in what could be a long run of All-Star games for the ex-Sooner.

The Dallas Mavericks forward said he has no qualms with the Western Conference coaches selecting Griffin to be one of seven reserves even though worthy players who've paid more dues in the league such Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge were left out.

"It’s hard to keep him out. I mean he’s a double-double machine," Nowitzki said. 'The Clippers are playing as well as they ever have so he definitely deserves it. But, every year there are going to be guys that deserve it and don’t get to go."

Portland Trail Blazers veteran guard Andre Miller let it be known that he's not a fan of the Griffin selection after the reserves were announced Thursday night and Aldridge wasn't included. Although, there's a little more to the story than that.

Miller told the Oregonian: "It’s all publicity and hype (meaning Griffin's selection). The league don’t appreciate the blue-collar workers. They don’t appreciate that. They make their money off the high-flyers … That’s a slap in the face to [Aldridge].’’

Miller went on to say that Griffin is a highlight reel and has not made his teammates better. But, Miller also had an incident with Griffin earlier this season when he intentionally ran into Griffin during the course of a game. Miller said Griffin had pushed him in the back a couple of times first and he was only sticking up for himself. The league suspended Miller for a game and it ended his 632 consecutive game streak.

Griffin is averaging 23.0 points on 51.8 percent shooting and 12.7 rebounds in 37.6 minutes a game. Aldridge is averaging 21.3 points on 48.7 percent shooting and 9.0 rebounds in 39.9 minutes a game.

"Kevin Love didn’t get to go and he’s averaging 20 and 15 or whatever," Nowitzki said. "Aldridge is playing really well. I think every year there's going to be some guys that deserve it, Tyson deserved it certainly, so it's unfortunate."