The case for Grant Hill to be in the NBA All-Star consideration goes beyond the numbers. His coach and MVP teammate Steve Nash are, not surprisingly, two of his biggest supporters, but that doesn't mean either is just blindly blowing smoke when it comes to Grant's play. These are the guys that go to battle each game with Grant and understand better than anyone how well he's playing.
What separates Grant Hill so far this season is his consistency, which is the first thing Suns Coach Alvin Gentry mentioned when asked about Hill playing at an All-Star level this season.
"I think he's the most consistent player we've had and I think he's had some big games for us," Gentry said, adding, "I think he's having a great year and when you add in the fact that we ask him to guard the toughest perimeter player every night, be that a (point guard, shooting guard or small forward)."
Once again, the numbers support the statements. Hill is having a career year in field goal percentage, with 53.6 percent of his shots drawing net. Think about what "career year" means when we are talking about Grant Hill's 15-plus seasons. And it's not like he isn't shooting the ball; his 12.7 attempts per game are the most in the last five seasons.
As he's done on several occasions this year, and even before the season started, Grant credits what he's learned in the last six months about his diet, stretching and other routines that prepare him to play. Physically, Grant says he feels good and his body is healthy, which plays a huge role in his ability to play well so far this season.
But as far as being an All-Star, Grant has other things on his mind.
"I haven't even thought about that. I'm just thinking about Michael Beasley tonight, who I'm matched up with," Hill said before Wednesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"It's never easy ... but it's fun, man. I'm 38 years old and I've been out here (in Phoenix) for four years and I feel like I'm having my best season in Phoenix since I've been here."
We can count Steve Nash as one of those who also agrees that Hill is playing at another level this season.
"Grant's been phenomenal all year for us. He's been that way since he's been here, but particularly this year, he's doing everything -- scoring, rebounding, defending, passing when he needs to, making plays," Nash said about one of his favorite teammates, who's been asked to take on an even bigger role this season.
"I'm just glad he's on my team and respect him as much as anybody in the league or anyone I've ever played with."
The bottom line, as both Gentry and Hill point out, is that the Suns are going to need to have a better record for Grant to named to the All-Star Team as a reserve. He's not likely to get voted in as one of the two starting forwards with deserving candidates like Kevin Durant and Pau Gasol having fantastic seasons.
But come late January, if the Suns have a better record and Grant continues to play at this level, the Western Conference Coach would have to give Hill serious consideration. For now, Hill is just honored to be considered again and as all great players do, remains focused on getting better.
"I'm not thinking about that, but the fact that you would even say that is flattering. Certainly, there's a lot of great players and I've had my fun at doing that, but I think I have to play a little better if I'm going to get to that point."
Listen to the full one-on-one interview with Grant Hill talking about playing at an All-Star level.
Audio: Grant Hill - 121510