The 2011 NBA All Star Game voting is coming down to the wire. Kobe Bryant still leads all players in 2011 NBA All Star Game votes, meaning he is a shoe-in to start at one of the guard positions for the Western Conference. Things have started to shift a bit, though, as there are several new players leading in votes who could now become starters in the Feb. 20 game.
The latest voting results have Los Angeles Lakers guard Bryant up to 1,757,216 total votes, making him the vote leader overall. Bryant and New Orleans Hornet guard Chris Paul will be the starters at the guard positions, as they are now way out in front in the minds of fans.
They are definitely two of the most deserving guards in the Western Conference, but it is going to be very difficult to fill out that roster with so many good players. Who from Manu Ginobili (Spurs), Deron Williams (Jazz), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Tony Parker (Spurs), and Steve Nash (Suns) should stay home this year?
The player with the most votes in the Eastern Conference is Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard right now, with the latest results revealing that he has 1,537,619 total votes. That puts him first at the center position, and just ahead of the duo from the Miami Heat. LeBron James leads at the forward position with 1,518,807 votes and Dwyane Wade leads at the guard position with 1,499,768 votes. They will both be starters in the game, but now it looks possible that if they receive enough support over the next two weeks, one of them (or both) could actually pass Howard in total votes.
Filling out the starting lineup in the Eastern Conference right now is New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire and Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose. They both moved into starting positions after passing players who had been ahead during the entire voting process. At the forward position, the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett slipped to third in voting; at the guard position, it was the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo. They could both potentially catch up again before the starters are announced, but it is really starting to look like Stoudemire and Rose will indeed now be starters.
The Western Conference starters look to be Bryant and Paul at guard, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, and Houston Rockets center Yao Ming. The votes for Yao are ridiculous at this point, especially because he won’t even be able to play in the game (due to injury). It means the NBA Commissioner will have to assign a 13th player to the team once the roster has been filled out, and the Western Conference coach will have to name a new starter. The assumption is that Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol will be selected as a reserve, and he seems like an easy solution at starting center.
There are just nine days left in the 2011 NBA All Star voting, so make sure to cast your ballot if you want to play a part in the decision. Starters will be announced live on TNT on Jan. 27, at which point the debate about the reserves will begin.