Butler fourth in All-Star voting and moving up


Jan 14

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And here they come spinning out of the final turn and heading down the home stretch in the final days of voting for the NBA All-Star game. The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler is on the outside among guards and gaining, but there isn’t much time left.

The fan voting concludes Monday night. Butler, in the last release before the final accounting, has gained ground on second place Kyrie Irving of Cleveland and third place Kyle Lowry of Toronto for the second starting spot among Eastern Conference guards.

Miami’s Dwyane Wade has one starting spot basically assured with a dominant lead over second place Irving.

Butler cut Irving’s lead over him from more than 50,000 votes to about 43,000. Butler trails Lowry for third place by about 11,000 votes, approximately half the margin Lowry held over Butler in the last results. Only the top two guards will be starters.

Butler seems assured given his play this season again leading the Bulls in scoring and with his popularity among the fans in voting to be selected as a reserve by the coaches for the second straight season. The starters will be announced on the TNT show Jan. 21 with the reserve additions a week later.

Bulls center Pau Gasol also seems in position to be added as a reserve, at least if the coach selections are in line with the fan voting.

Gasol, tied for fifth in the NBA in double/doubles and second in the Eastern Conference, is fifth in the frontcourt voting. The top three will start. There was one change from the previous voting. The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony moved into third and the final starting spot for Eastern Conference frontcourt players ahead of Detroit’s Andre Drummond.

The Cavaliers’ LeBron James is the East frontcourt leader in votes and will start, likely along with Indiana’s Paul George, who basically seems assured to be the second starter. Anthony moved ahead of Drummond by about 7,000 votes with the strong play of the Knicks lately. Gasol is fifth, Miami’s Chris Bosh is sixth and New York rookie Kristaps Porzingis moved into seventh ahead of the fading Kevin Love of Cleveland. The Bulls Joakim Noah remained 13th among East frontcourt players. Derrick Rose was seventh among East guards behind Washington’s John Wall and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.

The overall vote leader among all players was the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, certain to start in what he says will be his final All-Star game. Bryant is listed with frontcourt players. The Thunder’s Kevin Durant is a likely starter with Golden State’s Draymond Green about 12,000 votes ahead of the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard for the last starting spot among West frontcourt players. Blake Griffin is a distant fifth.

Among guards, the Warriors’ Stephen Curry has a huge lead to start over the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, who likely will be the other starter. Curry is second in overall league votes to Bryant. The Clippers’ Chris Paul is well back in third, the Warriors’ Klay Thompson is fourth and Houston’s James Harden fifth.

The 65th NBA All-Star game will be Feb. 14 in Toronto.


Eastern Conference

1 LeBron James (Cle) 830,345
2 Paul George (Ind) 569,947
3 Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 368,336
4 Andre Drummond (Det) 361,307
5 Pau Gasol (Chi) 294,172
6 Chris Bosh (Mia) 266,817
7 Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 248,783
8 Kevin Love (Cle) 241,700
9 Hassan Whiteside (Mia) 226,039
10 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil) 60,953
11 Jonas Valanciunas (Tor) 45,743
12 Marcin Gortat (Was) 34,747
13 Joakim Noah (Chi) 34,274
14 DeMarre Carroll (Tor) 31,861
15 Paul Millsap (Atl) 29,576

1 Dwyane Wade (Mia) 736,732
2 Kyrie Irving (Cle) 399,757
3 Kyle Lowry (Tor) 367,472
4 Jimmy Butler (Chi) 356,561
5 John Wall (Was) 281,936
6 DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 262,683
7 Derrick Rose (Chi) 217,986
8 Jeremy Lin (Cha) 155,475
9 Isaiah Thomas (Bos) 111,838
10 Reggie Jackson (Det) 57,736

Western Conference

1 Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,533,432
2 Kevin Durant (OKC) 774,782
3 Draymond Green (GS) 499,947
4 Kawhi Leonard (SA) 487,626
5 Blake Griffin (LAC) 396,630
6 Anthony Davis (NO) 326,070
7 Tim Duncan (SA) 303,498
8 Zaza Pachulia (Dal) 299,584
9 DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 267,087
10 Enes Kanter (OKC) 261,608
11 LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 176,956
12 Dwight Howard (Hou) 155,975
13 DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 133,484
14 Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 128,962
15 Harrison Barnes (GS) 113,607

1 Stephen Curry (GS) 1,206,467
2 Russell Westbrook (OKC) 609,901
3 Chris Paul (LAC) 410,284
4 Klay Thompson (GS) 386,053
5 James Harden (Hou) 319,596
6 Rajon Rondo (Sac) 157,298
7 Manu Ginobili (SA) 144,712
8 Andre Iguodala (GS) 142,047
9 Tony Parker (SA) 123,136
10 Damian Lillard (Por) 105,797

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