NBA.com has posted the early returns for the NBA All-Star Game. Very few surprises right off the bat, unless of course you were one of those people who were pretty sure Jeremy Lin was going to be voted a starter. Lin and his back-court running mate James Harden currently sit third and fourth respectively in votes for the Western Conference’s guard selections. There’s still time for Lin to make the jump to ASG starter, but it’s looking like it might not happen.
Here’s NBA.com’s first paragraph:
LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks top the Eastern Conference, while Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder lead the Western Conference after the first returns of 2013 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint. James, the reigning KIA NBA MVP and Finals MVP, is the overall leader with 641,348 votes, while Bryant is second with 639,419 votes.
As for Blazers to make waves in the early returns, LaMarcus Aldridge was the sole guy to make the list so far. LA currently sits at 10th for Western Conference front court selections. LaMarcus trails some notable names (Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard who are one and two) and some not so notable names (Omer Asik).
Asik certainly benefits from playing on the same team as Jeremy Lin, but my sense is, by looking at the full front court list, LaMarcus is still a few breakout years away from being a household name. I will say, though, that LA should take some pride in collecting more early votes than Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, two big cogs in a very talented team, and Dirk Nowitzki. Sure Dirk hasn’t played a game this season, but neither have Amar’e Stoudemire or Andrew Bynum and they found their way onto the Eastern Conference front court lists. Clearly having actually played yet isn’t a requirement to be included for NBA fan votes.
I’d put LA’s chances at making the All-Star Game at around 60%. If he can have some big nights in December, and if one of the other talented bigs in the West goes on a slide (I’m looking at you Kevin Love) that percentage will go up.
Here are the official early returns:
2013 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING PRESENTED BY SPRINT EASTERN CONFERENCE
Frontcourt: LeBron James (Mia) 641,348; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 573,112; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 218,246; Chris Bosh (Mia) 210,724; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 151,744; Paul Pierce (Bos) 114,735; Joakim Noah (Chi) 73,366; Josh Smith (Atl) 69,344; Andrew Bynum (Phi) 68,596; Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 64,266; Shane Battier (Mia) 59,419; Anderson Varejao (Cle) 57,336; Luol Deng (Chi) 48,450; Brook Lopez (BKN) 47,940; Jeff Green (Bos) 36,080.
Backcourt: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 430,925; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 382,613; Deron Williams (BKN) 211,426; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 155,989; Ray Allen (Mia) 130,016; Monta Ellis (Mil) 47,650; Raymond Felton (NYK) 37,974; Jason Terry (Bos) 36,147; Brandon Jennings (Mil) 35,610; Jrue Holiday (Phi) 35,193.
2013 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING PRESENTED BY SPRINT WESTERN CONFERENCE
Frontcourt: Kevin Durant (OKC) 605,965; Dwight Howard (LAL) 434,168; Blake Griffin (LAC) 307,855; Tim Duncan (SA) 189,577; Pau Gasol (LAL) 139,868; Kevin Love (Min) 112,922; Omer Asik (Hou) 88,178; Rudy Gay (Mem) 85,279; Serge Ibaka (OKC) 68,285; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 66,290; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 63,056; Marc Gasol (Mem) 61,716; Zach Randolph (Mem) 59,916; Metta World Peace (LAL) 59,167; Anthony Davis (NO) 53,779.
Backcourt: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 639,419; Chris Paul (LAC) 353,603; Jeremy Lin (Hou) 298,319; James Harden (Hou) 196,108; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 143,437; Steve Nash (LAL) 118,073; Tony Parker (SA) 69,983; Ricky Rubio (Min) 54,744; Manu Ginobili (SA) 47,800; O.J. Mayo (Dal) 36,495.