Noah 7th in All-Star balloting in latest returns


Dec 27

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Will Joakim Noah be an All-Star this season?

It’s looking like it will be a close call with the NBA Thursday releasing the second voting returns.

Noah remains seventh among Eastern Conference frontcourt players. The fan voting is for three front court players as the center position was eliminated this season and two backcourt players.

The second results were similar to the first balloting and based on their results the Eastern Conference starters would be LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett among frontcourt and Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo for the backcourt. The closest race is for the third frontcourt spot with Chris Bosh slightly behind Garnett. It would seem only Bosh could move ahead of Garnett among potential starters.

Joakim NoahDeron Williams is third among guards and unlikely to get enough fan votes to break into the top two. And with Avery Johnson’s firing Thursday, which many attribute to Williams, it will be interesting to see if the coaches pass him. Kyrie Irving and Ray Allen are well behind.

For the Western Conference, the frontcourt starters likely will be Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard in the fan voting. The backcourt likely will be Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul, though Jeremy Lin could supplant Paul.

The fan voting concludes Jan. 14 and the starters will be announced Jan. 17.

Once the starters are selected, the coaches in each conference will select the reserves. It likely would be four frontcourt players and three backcourt players added, but the coaches presumably could add a fifth frontcourt player and two backcourt players. That would give Noah a better chance and is possible since the East doesn’t have particularly strong depth among backcourt players.

Currently, Bosh, Tyson Chandler, Paul Pierce and Noah trail the top three among frontcourt players in the East. If going directly by fan voting, Noah would sneak in. But the coaches are not bound by the fan totals and someone like Atlanta’s Josh Smith is having a good season as his team is doing well. The coaches tend to favor players from teams with winning records.

That probably would hurt the chances of the Cavs’ Anderson Varejao, leading the league in rebounding. Amar’e Stoudemire is after Varejao and has been injured most of the season.

Luol Deng is far down in the fan voting at 13th, though coaches do like his play and he leads the NBA in minutes played. Thus for either Noah or Deng to make the All-Star team—and with Derrick Rose out they are considered the strongest possibilities—the Bulls most likely would need to maintain a winning record until late January when the coaches make their selections.

Noah is having his best season in his NBA career, averaging 13.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 4.4 assists, the assists among the most at center. Noah also is second in the league in minutes played. Deng is the Bulls leading scorer at 17.7 per game with seven rebounds.

The coaches, though, might want to add Smith since he’s been overlooked in the past and the Hawks have been an early surprise team.

Bryant is the overall leader in fan votes followed by LeBron James. The Bulls have been represented at the All-Star Game the last three seasons by Rose and by Deng last season as well. Before 2010, the last Bull to be picked as an All-Star was Michael Jordan in 1998.

The vote totals are as follows:



Frontcourt: LeBron James (Mia) 970,314; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 891,759; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 328,716; Chris Bosh (Mia) 308,194; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 260,000; Paul Pierce (Bos) 171,601; Joakim Noah (Chi) 129,331; Josh Smith (Atl) 111,260; Anderson Varejao (Cle) 99,955; Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 90,996; Shane Battier (Mia) 88,800; Andrew Bynum (Phi) 84,939; Luol Deng (Chi) 76,400; Brook Lopez (BKN) 67,991; Jeff Green (Bos) 52,785.

Backcourt: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 645,875; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 574,272; Deron Williams (BKN) 309,778; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 258,193; Ray Allen (Mia) 195,142; Monta Ellis (Mil) 71,287; Raymond Felton (NYK) 66,745; Jrue Holiday (Phi) 56,683; Jason Terry (Bos) 52,833; Brandon Jennings (Mil) 49,122.


Frontcourt: Kevin Durant (OKC) 924,898; Dwight Howard (LAL) 616,150; Blake Griffin (LAC) 489,795; Tim Duncan (SA) 299,434; Pau Gasol (LAL) 197,377; Kevin Love (Min) 189,949; Omer Asik (Hou) 131,002; Rudy Gay (Mem) 125,562; Serge Ibaka (OKC) 111,963; Marc Gasol (Mem) 99,271; Zach Randolph (Mem) 97,778; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 97,090; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 93,491; Metta World Peace (LAL) 85,279; Chandler Parsons (Hou) 78,235.

Backcourt: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 977,444; Chris Paul (LAC) 542,564; Jeremy Lin (Hou) 496,133; James Harden (Hou) 283,691; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 232,074; Steve Nash (LAL) 166,262; Tony Parker (SA) 111,032; Ricky Rubio (Min) 96,466; Stephen Curry (GS) 78,380; Manu Ginobili (SA) 70,813.

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