It’s about half way through the NBA season, which means it’s time for the 2015 All-Star Game in New York. Last season the big story in the voting was how an injured Kobe Bryant was selected as a Western Conference starter despite playing only the first few weeks of the season, snubbing Anthony Davis. Kobe did eventually withdraw from the game, and Davis earned his first trip to the game in place of the 5 time NBA Champ.
This season Davis had no problem earning a Western Conference starting position on his own this season. With 1,369,911 votes Davis led all Western Conference frontcourt player. In fact, Davis finished third overall in the voting falling behind only LeBron James and Steph Curry.
Bryant actually made headlines again. Having recently torn his rotator cuff and being declared out for the season, Bryant (who finished fourth overall in the voting this season) will have to once again surrender his starting position in the West. Bryant narrowly edged out the Houston Rockets superstar James Harden for the starting position in the West, but perhaps the fans voted wrong. Although Kobe is certainly having a great season, Harden is the current league leader in points per game; and if that weren’t enough, his team is actually is playoff contention. The voters are definitely far from infallible. For example, Jeremy Lin finished in the top 10 vote-getters for the Western Conference guards…
The biggest news story, however, from this year’s voting was Steph Curry’s first place finish over LeBron James. After years of being the top vote-getter by a landslide, The King has been dethroned by the young superstar shooting specialist from the Golden State Warriors—and rightfully so. Sure, LeBron is still arguably the best player in the world; but at 23-20 the Cleveland Cavaliers only have a 1.5 game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. The Warriors on the other hand have the best overall record in the NBA at 34-6, and they have a comfortable 5 game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies for the number one seed in the very competitive Western Conference.
Speaking of the Grizzlies, Marc Gasol will be starting for the Western Conference opposite his brother Pau Gasol who joined the Chicago Bulls over the offseason and earned a starting spot for the Eastern Conference. Pau, the elder of the two brothers, has had a phenomenal 13th career season as a member of the Bulls. Through 41 games so far Pau is averaging a double-double with 18.6 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game.
The game this year should certainly be interesting with multiple new faces in the game. In fact, for Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, John Wall, and Kyle Lowry this will be their first-ever NBA All-Star Game starts, not to mention Lowry’s first-ever All-Star Game in general.
But, for every starter there is a notable snub. This season the two biggest snubs in the West were (by far) Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant. For Duncan, apparently being one of the greatest players of the decade means nothing to fans anymore. Five NBA Championships with the most recent being last season doesn’t seem to be enough for voters. Durant’s situation is a little more understandable. After missing most of the first half of the season, it’s hard to expect a starting spot on the All-Star team; however, if Durant had made it no one would have batted an eye.
The East also has its fair share of snubs. The biggest surprise is Carmelo Anthony. At 7-36 it is far from the Knicks year (or his year for that matter), yet because of his name he made it in over Al Horford or Paul Millsap. The Hawks have the best record in the East, so they deserve some representation in the East’s starting lineup this season. Sure, neither of these guys have the individual stats that are normally possessed by All-Star starters, but with a 35-8 team record (28 more wins than the Knicks) one of these players deserves a spot over the struggling Anthony.
Here are the starting line ups for each team (in order of most votes received):
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers—1,470,483
Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls—974,177
John Wall, Washington Wizards—886,368
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors—805,290
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks—647,005
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors—1,513,324
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans—1,369,911
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers—1,152,402
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies—795,121
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers—700,615
(Note: With Kobe Bryant out for the remainder of the season, James Harden of the Houston Rockets will most likely replace him as the starter—1,069,368 votes received)