Blog Entry

Dwight Howard leads first All-Star ballot returns

Posted on: January 12, 2012 3:02 pm
Posted by Royce Young

The first All-Star ballot returns are out and leading the entire league in votes is Dwight Howard with 754,737 votes with Kobe Bryant second with 690,613. Second in the East is LeBron James (640,789) and in the West Kevin Durant (633,538).

If the voting ended today, the East's starting five would be Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron, Carmelo Anthony and Howard. In the West it would be Chris Paul, Kobe, Durant, Blake Griffin and Andrew Bynum.

And looking over the vote totals, those starting lineups seem to be a bit set in stone, barring injury. Nobody is really all that close to catching anyone (Dirk is closest behind Griffin, and he's more than 100,000 votes back).

So, are the fans getting it right so far? Kind of looks like they are, quite honestly. Can't argue with the West too much. The one quibble I'd have is that Kevin Love has been absolutely killing it in Minnesota so far this season averaging 25-15, but he's not part of Lob City, so it's hard to see him ever topping Griffin. Same goes for LaMarcus Aldridge, who is off to a fantastic start. I'd also like to mention that Kyle Lowry has gotten off to a terrific start this season, but it's not good enough to top Paul.

In the East, there's really nothing to change. Melo isn't really a power forward, but you can fudge the All-Star rosters a bit. Rajon Rondo isn't playing better than Rose, there's no better 2 in the East than Wade and of course LeBron and Howard are the best at their positions in the entire league.

If the voting holds like this -- and it should -- we'll have a pretty accurate representation of the best in each league to start the All-Star Game. Again, I'd go with Love over Griffin, but that's not a sure thing case to make at this point. And it's not going to change anyway.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:30 pm

West Forwards Logjam

The quandry with West Forwards continues. Fans seem to finally understand that Tim Duncan is past his All-Star years. But then LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Durant seem to clearly be playing best in the West (look at the records.) The media trumpets Griffin because he jumps out of the gym but there is little defense except rebounding from him. Same for Kevin Love except he does not jump out of the gym. On a very bad team Love muscles his teammates out of the way to get rebounds and uses Z-Bo's favorite trick in tipping multiple misses down low (each counting as an offensive rebound) before finally getting the bucket. Gasol has declined the past two years and appears to be past his All-Star days. This is not to say these players are bad players. It is to say the media bias seems to cause difficulty in fan voting.

With the USA Men's Basketball team getting assembled for the 2012 London Olympics watch the cut-down to the final 12. I expect that Aldridge will make it and Griffin and Love will stay home. This is because Aldridge is bigger (6'11") and more versitile - able to play Center in the international game and also a better defender. Coach K loves that versitility of playing LeBron at the PF, Melo at SF. Howard is still the best defender but Aldridge can be subbed to add more offense and draw the opponent's bigs out of the paint with his really good outside shooting. He is also nimble enough to guard on the perimeter.

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