NBA All-Star Fan Voting Is Hit-And-Miss

The main thing to look for with the announcement of the All-Star starters is how badly the fans have messed up. That determines whether the coaches get to be creative and exercise free will, or have to make tough choices and invariably leave out someone deserving. So while tonight is only part one, and is never a wide-open race, it sets the stage for all the interesting speculation to follow. ↵

↵The East: Only one big whiff here. LeBron and Wade are MVP candidates, and Dwight Howard's the best big man in the league. Over at Inside the NBA, Gary Payton's claiming that Chris Bosh belongs in over KG; the rest of the crew is knocking him because of Toronto's record, and claiming Garnett can't be as impressive individually because he's got better teammates. Oh, and the Celtics are better. Iverson, though, just doesn't belong there. His presence proves that the fans vote on name recognition. I'd go with Joe Johnson instead, since he's having a career year and has the Hawks finally looking like a legit playoff team. ↵

↵

↵The West: Kobe Bryant is an utter no-brainer, as is Chris Paul, who thankfully passed Tracy McGrady down the stretch. C-Webb (who is amazing on television) thinks that Shaq has exceeded expectation and kept the Suns alive, and deserves the start over Yao because of that. On the other hand, Yao's stayed healthy all year and clearly taken over in Houston, which is a major leap for him. The real controversy is at the forward slot: Duncan and Amare got the nod, though Melo was having a much-improved season before his injury, and Dirk's having an especially Dirk-like year. But Duncan's still Duncan, and is putting up his best numbers in a while; I'd say Anthony (for whom it's moot) and Nowitzki both probably deserved it over Amare. ↵I'd even put Durant in before him. ↵

↵

↵So stay tuned for the next episode. Payton seemed to think that Al Jefferson should've started over Duncan, which brings up my question of obscure stars on bad teams. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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