No love for Noah on NBA's All-Star ballot


Nov 10

By Adam Fluck

Voting for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game got underway on Tuesday with five Bulls on the ballot. For the first time in balloting history, fans can vote for All-Stars any time by texting a player’s last name from their mobile phones.

Dallas_600_noah Perhaps the league’s focus on rolling out the new initiative contributed to the omission of Joakim Noah, Chicago’s third-year starting center who has opened the season in impressive fashion, on the ballot.

With a 4-2 record, the Bulls are off to their best start since in 12 years. Noah has been a big part of the early success, averaging 11.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He’s also connected on a scorching 60.9 percent of shots from the field.

Yet, if you look at the NBA’s All-Star ballot, his name isn’t among the 12 Eastern Conference centers listed for consideration.

Through six games, Noah has grabbed 10 or more boards in five games, and he has posted three double-doubles. Noah currently ranks in the top 10 in the NBA in four categories: sixth in offensive rebounds per game (3.8), seventh in blocks per game (2.33), eighth in rebounds per game (11.0) and eight in field goal percentage (.609).

So who is on the ballot? Well, teammate Brad Miller for one. This is no knock on Miller, a two-time All-Star in his own right and a key contributor off the Bulls’ bench. But his numbers (9.2 ppg and 4.3 rpg) don’t compare with Noah’s, nor does his upside.

The remaining candidates include Andrea Bargnani, Andrew Bogut, Tyson Chandler, Samuel Dalembert, Al Horford, Dwight Howard, Brook Lopez, Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace.

As for the Bulls who did make the ballot, that would be Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Brad Miller, Derrick Rose and John Salmons. Though he’s still not playing like himself after an ankle injury set him back most of the preseason, Rose seems to the Bulls’ best chance of having an All-Star for the first time since Michael Jordan in 1998. Deng will also receive serious consideration if he keeps up his steady play (16.7 ppg and 10.0 rpg through six games).

The game itself, which will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, before an expected crowd of more than 80,000 – the largest group ever to witness a live basketball game, on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010.

Vote now for your Bulls to be there. Maybe Noah isn’t an All-Star just yet. But doesn’t he at least deserve a few write in votes?

What do you think? Leave a comment below: