The 2022 NBA All-Star Game is set to begin on February 20 at the Cavaliers’ arena, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Will a rider or two make the cut for the first time since James lebron to the West in 2018? Time will tell, even if the odds look good. The Cleveland players’ chances of securing a starting spot in the Eastern Conference, however, appear slim.
Online fan voting began on Christmas Day and is scheduled to end on Jan. 22 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The first results of the fan vote were announced by the NBA on January 6. Players are segregated by conference in the voting process (but not in games) and split between the front court and the back court. Fan votes will be weighted at 50% of total votes, with 25% allocated to player vote results and an additional 25% to journalists. Head coaches will vote for the all-star benches after the starters are announced. Today we’re going to take a look at the clubhouse leaders to get an All-Star start in the Eastern Conference, in addition to making the case for a few other notable players who deserve a shot.
Nets cheeky Kevin Durant led all Eastern Conference players with 2,360,435 results in their favor after the initial count. Roe deer cheeky Giannis Antetokounmpo It was on its heels with 2,145,835 fan votes. Sixers center Joel embiid received 1,236,060 fan votes. The frontcourt’s top three voters (again, determined by a breakdown of votes from fans, players and media) will win the starting honors. The selections of Durant, Antetkounmpo and Embiid (all early in the race for MVP review) were widely expected. Celtics cheeky Jayson tatum and Heat cheeky Jimmy butler were the only other frontline players to win 500,000 or more fan votes.
While Butler is clearly enjoying an All-Star-level season, which would be his sixth overall, he has only appeared in 23 of the possible 40 games for the 25-15 Heat. Currently sidelined with an ankle injury, Butler is expected to return to the pitch soon and, provided he does, should be a lock in making the coaching picks for the Eastern Reserves. . Tatum and Boston Wing Jaylen brown have each had productive individual seasons, but that didn’t translate into team success for the 19-21 Celtics, currently the tenth seed in the Eastern Conference. A team that risks missing the play-in tournament is unlikely to earn two All-Stars. Brown is listed in the backcourt for fan voting, while Tatum is in the frontcourt.
Riders center Jarrett allen, which was a big part of the trade that won the Brooklyn superstar custody James harden, has become an All-Star talent with Cleveland this season. Allen and guard Darius garland are the Cavaliers’ two All-Star contenders this season, though neither appear to have the voices to work their way into the starting conversation. Allen was sixth in the early fan vote results for the Eastern Conference frontlines with 168,019 votes. Garland placed ninth among the Eastern Guards (behind two much less deserving candidates, which we’ll discuss a bit) with 119,399 votes. Before you can rookie from Cleveland Evan mobley, one of the early leaders for the NBA Rookie of the Year award, is unlikely to be selected, although he has played a pivotal role in the team’s incredible turnaround this season.
Other front row players who have pulled off solid numbers in good conference teams include the youngsters Hornets cheeky Miles Bridges, enjoying a season at the most improved player level with an upstart Charlotte club. Before you can Hawks John collins also has a case, although the team’s average record could prevent Atlanta from getting more than an All-Star this year. Other candidates for the All-Star exam (although probably not worthy of starting) include a bunch of recent All-Stars, among them Pacers big man Domantas sabonis, Raptors power forward Pascal Siakam (although he has missed 14 games so far), Knicks power forward Julius Randle, and the center of the bulls Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic has stabilized after a rough start and has improved in defense this season.
Among the backcourt players, the current two favorites to start are bulls wing DeMar DeRozan (1,487,598 fan votes), enjoying a return season in Chicago at 32, and Nets goalie Harden (892,065 votes), who despite having one of his worst seasons in years, remains the one of the best goalies in the NBA. DeRozan’s selection here deserved a bit of controversy, not because of his merit, but because of his roster of positions. The 6’6 ”DeRozan is the Bulls’ starting little forward and he makes a lot of moonlight as a powerful small-ball forward. When he last made an All-Star team, with the Raptors in 2018, DeRozan was a shooting guard, but he was unlocked subsequent seasons in three and four with the Spurs. Either way, DeRozan looks like a lock, provided he stays relatively healthy for the rest of the voting window.
hawks leader Young Traé is just behind Harden with 862,878 fan votes, while the Bulls’ shooting guard Zach lavine (776,043) and second-year Hornets point guard LaMelo ball (422,247) complete the top five voters among the long distance players. LaVine can’t boast of the late-game heroism or ball-management ingenuity of compatriot DeRozan, but he posted formidable numbers as one of the undisputed top two players at top club in East at the time of this writing. Chicago is 26-10.
Young, who just led his Atlanta squad to a surprising 2021 Eastern Conference final appearance, is having an excellent statistical season individually, but it didn’t translate into a team success, in left because Young’s defense has been… apathetic at best. The Hawks are currently the No. 12 seed in the East with a 17-22 record. Ball led Charlotte to a 21-19 record and eighth seed in the East. Young, LaVine and Ball are all more deserving starters than Harden this season, although Harden remains worthy of an All-Star (bench) slot.
Incredibly, the leader of the Nets Kyrie Irving, who has appeared in one game this season, is just behind Ball with 267,929 fan votes, while the Knicks reserve the point guard Derrick Rose, absent for months following ankle surgery and showing fairly modest numbers in a non-playoff team, garnered 232,501 votes. Neither player will get any votes from players or journalists, and has no chance of making the All-Star squad, either starting or reserving, this season.
Veteran Raptors point guard Fred van vleet, who finished tenth in that first fan voting session, is perhaps the best representative player for a dashing Toronto club. leader of the Bucks Jrue Holidays and wizarding shooting guard Bradley Beal Also seem worthy of All-Star bunks, although they have both finished outside the top 10 this year in fan voting and seem doomed to the reserve.
New Heat leader Kyle lowry has seen a year on the decline, but has been a firm hand in guiding the ship of a formidable Miami club lacking its top players, Butler and great man Bam Adebayo, for a significant part of his season. Yes, sixth man Tyler herro On average, scores a lot more points than Lowry (20.6 PPG to 13.7 PPG), but their overall shot percentages are pretty similar. Herro connects on 42.7% of his field placement and Lowry’s 42.2% shoot from the ground. Lowry, a six-time All-Star with the Raptors, has proven to be the best player and defenseman by far.
From now on, this fan voter would place Durant, Antetokounmpo and Embiid among his three starting first zone players, and place the two Bulls, DeRozan and LaVine, in the two starting spots in the backcourt.
We want to know what you think! Who are your Eastern Conference All-Star starters? In your opinion, are there any limit starters that could be determined based on their level of play in the following month?
Head over to the comments section below to weigh in!