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Rose's possible All-Star bid begins with first voting
by Sam Smith
Posted on Dec 11
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or their Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.
The first All-Star team voting returns were announced Thursday, and though Bulls rookie point guard Derrick Rose was eighth among East guards, he has a reasonable chance of being selected by the coaches among the reserve players.
It didn’t help Rose’s chances that Allen Iverson, who is having a poor season for him, was second in the East voting with a large margin over No. 3 Vince Carter. It seems unlikely the way the Pistons have played since trading for Iverson and Iverson’s erratic play that the coaches would reward Iverson with another All-Star spot.
But Iverson is one of the league’s most popular players among fans, so it’s likely he’ll grab that second spot for East guards. That works against Rose becoming the first Bulls player since Michael Jordan in 1998 to make the All-Star team.
But Rose’s play, though it is somewhat lost on voting fans because he is a rookie, has impressed coaches everywhere the Bulls have gone, and it may come down to a choice between Rose and New Jersey’s Devin Harris for that last guard spot in the East. Rose and Harris matchup for the first time this season at the United Center Saturday.
The voting has LeBron James and Kevin Garnett Nos. 1 and 2 among East forwards, as it should be. The Nets’ Yi Jianlian, likely because of big votes from China, is third among forwards. He has no chance of being selected by the coaches as he is an average player. But should he pass Garnett into second, that likely would bounce Rose from the team, assuming Iverson doesn’t fall out of the top two among guards.
The coaches have two so called “wild card” picks where they do not have to pick according to position. Thus, there may be only one center selected, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. Among East centers in the voting, it would seem only Al Horford of Atlanta or Zydrunas Ilgauskas of Cleveland seem to have a chance of being added by the coaches. It’s more likely, though, the coaches opt for extra guards or forwards.
The obvious omissions not starting in the early voting are Boston’s Paul Pierce and Toronto’s Chris Bosh among forwards and among guards the Nets Vince Carter and the Hawks Joe Johnson. I’m assuming Ray Allen gets selected given the Celtics play and being defending champions.
That would leave two open spots.
Coaches usually like to go with players from teams with winning records, so the Magic might get another player, either Hedo Turkoglu or Rashard Lewis at forward. Likewise, Cleveland could get Ilgauskas. The Pistons, if they remain with a .500 or better record, could add Richard Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince.
Danny Granger is in the top 10 in the league in scoring for the Pacers and is a possibility. Caron Butler also at 10th in the league in scoring, though the Wizards’ record is poor and could hurt him and Antawn Jamison. Perhaps the Bucks Richard Jefferson if the team begins to win.
It’s probably going to come down to record at the end of January when the coaches vote, and I’d say whomever between the Nets and Bulls has the best record, their point guard will be a first time All Star this season.
In the Western Conference, the first returns had the starters as Yao Ming, Tim Duncan and Amare Stoudemire, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul. They seem set except for the possibility of Carmelo Anthony overtaking Stoudemire in the voting.
The game is in Phoenix Feb. 15. Rose certainly will be part of the rookie/sophomore game, which is Feb. 13. No other Bulls but Rose was in the top 10 in voting at his position.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or their Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors.