Though fan voting now only comprises 50 percent of the equation for the starting lineups in the NBA All-Star team, it hasn’t lost much, if any, of its intrigue — there’s just an extra sense of the justice of players and press coming to correct any outliers. But one fan favorite has lost some ground from previous years to a younger star — Dwyane Wade is in second, behind Kyrie Irving.
Wade has been an All-Star every year of his career besides his rookie season, and with the respect of his fellow players, he has a decent chance to still make it this year. But Irving has been having the best year of his career so far, imbued with the confidence of his championship ring. He’s averaging a career high in points per game with 23.8, playing some of the best defense of his career, and his 5.7 assists per game is an excellent average as the secondary distributor behind LeBron James.
Speaking of LeBron, he’s still leading in frontcourt voting in the East (joined in the staring lineup by teammate and third-place vote-getter Kevin Love), while his counterpart Kevin Durant is leading out West. Behind Durant is still Zaza Pachulia, whose combination of wild Georgian fanbase and Warriors trolls is doing their best, but won’t be enough to overcome the lack of support he’s sure to feel from the press and players. See what we mean about balance?