First All Star returns have Pau Gasol a starter


Dec 25

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Your 2015 NBA All-Star starters.

For the Eastern Conference, John Wall and Dwyane Wade at guard; LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol in the front court.

That’s the result of the first vote released Christmas Day morning.

For the Bulls, Derrick Rose was fifth among the Eastern Conference guards and Jimmy Butler sixth.

What that means is that it’s likely the Bulls will get another guard on the All-Star team, but it may come down to a choice among the coaches for Rose or Butler. Of course, it’s possible both could be selected. But with Joakim Noah sixth among front court players, coaches like to spread the votes around.

Still, with only five teams in the Eastern Conference with winning records, there’s likely to be a strong contingent of Bulls heading to New York for the Feb. 13-15 All-Star weekend.

Fans voting is for three front court players and two guards. The balloting ends Jan. 19 with the starters announced Jan. 22. The conference coaches then select the seven reserves with the results announced Jan. 29.

James was easily the top vote recipient in the Eastern Conference. Anthony was second, but it was close among Anthony, Gasol and Chris Bosh for the second and third spots. The voting can change with injuries or other developments, but it seems most likely Anthony, Gasol and Bosh will compete for the last two starting spots after James in the front court.

The guard situation is more fluid with no one holding a huge lead. For now, it seems a four-way race for the two starting spots among Wall, Wade, Kyrie Irving and Kyle Lowry. So it’s no slam dunk yet even with his strong start that Butler becomes an All-Star. Obviously, a lot also will depend on the play in January as coaches won’t vote until the end of the month. And they’ll want to add an Atlanta player the way the Hawks have played. Guard Jeff Teague would be a popular choice.

In the Western Conference, Stephen Curry received the most votes followed by the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis. From the early voting with Kobe Bryant running a strong second, it seems almost certain Curry and Bryant will be the Western Conference starting guards. The front court players are led by Davis, Blake Griffin and Marc Gasol. Tim Duncan was fourth and Kevin Durant fifth. Now with Durant healthy, he’s likely to move up. So the voting for the last starting spot after Davis and Griffin is likely to be among Marc Gasol, Duncan and Durant for the third Western Conference front court starting position.

With the Gasol brothers both in position to start it would be the first time ever brothers started in an NBA All-Star game. The last brothers to play were the Van Ardsdales in 1971. With Bryant almost sure to be voted in, the toughest addition, or exclusions, will be among West guards where after the top two there were James Harden, Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, now Rajon Rondo and not even among the top 10 in votes Mike Conley and Monta Ellis.

Here’s the first voting results:


Eastern Conference

1 LeBron James (Cle) 552,967
2 Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 265,170
3 Pau Gasol (Chi) 247,953
4 Chris Bosh (Mia) 208,549
5 Kevin Love (Cle) 169,818
6 Joakim Noah (Chi) 69,994
7 Marcin Gortat (Was) 57,715
8 Jonas Valanciunas (Tor) 52,318
9 Kevin Garnett (BKN) 46,494
10 Al Jefferson (Cha) 43,230
11 Paul Pierce (Was) 35,197
12 Nikola Vucevic (Orl) 33,296
13 Paul Millsap (Atl) 21,545
14 Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 20,602
15 Andre Drummond (Det) 19,128

1 John Wall (Was) 299,209
2 Dwyane Wade (Mia) 265,917
3 Kyrie Irving (Cle) 237,356
4 Kyle Lowry (Tor) 182,896
5 Derrick Rose (Chi) 105,465
6 Jimmy Butler (Chi) 99,984
7 DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 51,946
8 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil) 17,512
9 Louis Williams (Tor) 15,329
10 Bradley Beal (Was) 13,911

Western Conference

1 Anthony Davis (NO) 524,623
2 Blake Griffin (LAC) 307,908
3 Marc Gasol (Mem) 227,554
4 Tim Duncan (SA) 198,649
5 Kevin Durant (OKC) 191,881
6 LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 152,253
7 DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 117,003
8 Dwight Howard (Hou) 104,699
9 Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 100,015
10 Kawhi Leonard (SA) 74,501
11 Rudy Gay (Sac) 51,873
12 DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 43,051
13 Nick Young (LAL) 32,050
14 Tyson Chandler (Dal) 31,659
15 Zach Randolph (Mem) 30.147

1 Stephen Curry (GS) 549,095
2 Kobe Bryant (LAL) 521,542
3 James Harden (Hou) 336,998
4 Chris Paul (LAC) 257,528
5 Rajon Rondo (Dal) 107,366
6 Klay Thompson (GS) 90,957
7 Russell Westbrook (OKC) 84,686
8 Damian Lillard (Por) 82,884
9 Jeremy Lin (LAL) 77,276
10 Tony Parker (SA) 50,287

What do you think? Leave a comment below: