It appears that we already know who will start the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, as five players in each conference have taken commanding, seemingly insurmountable leads in fan voting.
In the East, Dwight Howard is the leading overall vote-getter as of Thursday, according to a release by the NBA. Howard has received 1.16 million votes to be the East's starting center. He leads No. 2 Joakim Noah by more than 900,000 votes. Reigning MVP Derrick Rose has also eclipsed the 1 million vote barrier; Dwyane Wade is not far behind with 970,000 votes. No. 3 Rajon Rondo is a distant 580,000 votes behind Wade.
The East's starting forwards will almost assuredly be LeBron James (970,000 votes) and Carmelo Anthony (780,000); third-place Amar'e Stoudemire sits at 281,000.
In the West, Kobe Bryant is the only player over the 1 million vote mark, sitting about 50,000 behind Howard for the leaguewide lead. Crosstown rival Chris Paul is No. 2 among West guards at 835,000, almost 600,000 votes ahead of top contender Ricky Rubio.
Andrew Bynum leads DeAndre Jordan more than half of a million votes to become the West's starting center, and Kevin Durant is approaching 1 million votes as the top West forward. In the closest race in the league, Blake Griffin leads Dirk Nowitzki by about 260,000 votes for the No. 2 West forward spot.
Voting continues on NBA.com through Jan. 31.