It’s only the third return of the NBA All-Star ballot and there is still time before everything is closed, but as things are shaping up right now, the Eastern Conference seems like the team with most chance of winning the annual showdown.
The East would be sending a strong team – barring any injury of course – with Kyrie Irving and Dwyane Wade in the backcourt next to Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James as forwards. In that situation, LeBron would be the one likely to move to the center role, but playing “small ball” might benefit both the spectacle and the East team.
The highest-ranked center on the list is Roy Hibbert who is fourth on the balloting, and he appears to be a lock to make the team based on the coach voting. He might see some time as the big man in the middle.
As for the West, the injuries are really hurting the team’s stock. While the frontcourt seems to be quite solid – Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard would be the starters and Kevin Love in up next in the counting – the same thing can’t be said about the backcourt. Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant are two of the most-voted players, and since both might be out of the contest due to injuries, the starters would Stephen Curry and Jeremy Lin – no, that’s not a typo.
While it’s unlikely to see Lin starting in the All-Star Game – as the NBA can choose a replacement of their own if the two top players aren’t available – but the East is shaping up to be the best team overall. Two of the best players of the season, two dynamic scorers and an up-and-coming PG could prove to be too much for the West.
The ballot will close in almost two weeks so there is still time left to vote, but if there are no changes the East could end up winning quite easily.