The half way point of the NBA regular season is right around the corner and before the second half of the season gets underway, the 2011 NBA All-Star game will be played at the Staples Center on February 20th 8pm EST.
As of right now, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar guard Kobe Bryant is leading the way in the All-Star voting with 1,757,216 votes which is about 200,000 ahead of the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard (1,537,619). There is still plenty of time to vote as the starters for the 2011 NBA All-Star game will be announced on TNT on Thursday, January 27th at 4pm PST.
If you want to get your votes in for this All-Star game, go to NBA.com (Vote Now button on left side of the page) and let your voice be heard! Voting ends on Sunday, January 23rd.
Check out current voting totals here: All-Star balloting update
Along with Kobe Bryant, the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers could have two or three more players in the mix on All-Star weekend as forward Pau Gasol is third in the voting for Western Conference forwards (851,456) behind the Oklahoma City Thunder’s scoring machine Kevin Durant (1,270,729) and Carmelo Anthony (945,720) of the Denver Nuggets (or the New Jersey Nets if a trade goes down). Andrew Bynum is second among centers in the West with only the Houston Rockets Yao Ming (out for the season, 928,928) ahead of him. I think Yao would get voted to the Western Conference All-Star team even if he were retired, which will probably happen sooner rather than later, a lot of voters love this big man in China.
So at this point in time, Kobe Bryant looks like he will be the starting shooting guard with Andrew Bynum getting the start at center due to the fact that Yao Ming is done for the year. Pau Gasol will need to keep getting votes over the next week though as the Los Angeles Clippers superstar forward Blake Griffin is quickly moving up the ranks as he isn’t far behind Pau with 702,784. Even if Pau does get voted onto his fourth All-Star team, he will be coming off the bench.
Lakers forward Lamar Odom (364,950) has been getting a lot of consideration for being on this All-Star team with his impressive play off the bench as of late, but with Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks (6th place; 615,243) and Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs (5th place; 663,487) ahead of him, I don’t think its goning to happen.
Not only does LO have perennial All-Stars Nowitzki and Duncan ahead of him, but Griffin, Gasol, Melo and Durant are also ahead of them. Anything can happen between now and February 20th, in terms of injuries or players holding out, so there is a possibility that four Los Angeles Lakers could be sporting Western Conference All-Star jerseys on their home floor next month!