The Western Conference is a bloodbath.
You can tell from a quick glance at the NBA standings, where all but two teams in the West sit within five games of a playoff spot.
But perhaps nothing speaks to the talent level in the league's strongest conference more so than the annual list of players that miss out on an All-Star selection.
This year, that list may very well include Klay Thompson's name.
Steph Curry and Kevin Durant will start in the 2019 All-Star game in Charlotte. Draymond Green, as great as he's been the last few weeks, will not be hearing his name called when All-Star reserves are announced this Thursday.
Steve Kerr says he “doubts” the Warriors get four All-Stars for a third straight season. He discusses Draymond Green and Klay Thompson’s candidacy. pic.twitter.com/JzXaeIFuL6— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 24, 2019
That means that if the Warriors are going to have at least three All-Stars for the fourth consecutive year, all the eggs will be in Thompson's basket.
His numbers are plenty deserving: 21.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game on 46.2 percent shooting from the field and 37.9 percent from 3-point range. Those season-long averages obviously include his severe mid-December slump, however, which is well in the rearview mirror at this point.
Over the last 14 games -- more than a quarter of the season up to this point -- Thompson is shooting a blistering 53.0 percent from the field and 49.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Is that month-long surge enough to get Thompson selected as one of the seven Western Conference All-Star reserves? After all, it has included multiple 40-point performances and a record-setting display in which he made his first 10 threes in a single contest.
"I think he's got a really good chance," coach Steve Kerr said of Thompson on Thursday, "but there's a lot of guys at that position, so we'll see."
Here's what we know so far: Curry, Durant, LeBron James, James Harden and Paul George will start. That leaves seven reserve spots available for a pool from the West that includes Thompson, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, C.J. McCollum, Russell Westbrook, Luka Doncic, Jrue Holiday, Danilo Gallinari, Tobias Harris, De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield.
Of those potential reserves, it's safe to assume that Davis -- assuming he's not traded to the East -- Jokic, Lillard and Gobert are locks. So we're down to three spots left.
Karl-Anthony Towns has been averaging more than 24 points and 12 rebounds per game for the Timberwolves for half the season. He's probably in.
Russell Westbrook can't hit water if he fell out of a boat so far this season, but he's still averaging a triple-double for the team with the third-best record in the conference. Don't expect him to get left out.
So, if the above assumptions are correct, we're down to one remaining spot.
Thompson's individual statistics measure up to just about everyone remaining on that list, and he certainly has the name recognition. The Warriors have the best record in the conference. Shouldn't that matter?
"We're in first place," Thompson said last week. "I feel like I deserve to be there, just because our performance the last five years at the top of the standings, that's not easy. I don't know how many times it's ever been done."
And if he doesn't get named an All-Star reserve?
"If I don't make it, it's not the end of the world," Thompson said. "I'll go to a beach and enjoy myself."
Somehow, that's not difficult to believe.