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2019 All-Star Voting Oddities
As the 2018-19 NBA season nears it’s halfway point, fans have already been treated to their fair share of peculiar happenings around the NBA. Ranging from intriguing refereeing decisions (thank goodness for James Harden being unreal) to shocking standings (Who would’ve guessed that the Nuggests would be THIS good?), it would be difficult to make the NBA more exciting and off-the-wall than it has been thus far this season. The first returns of All-Star voting, however, have accomplished just that. Their are a variety of oddities that have come with the ballots’ first returns, which will be scrutinized in this article.
Derrick Rose: 2nd place among Western Conference Guards
In quite possibly the comeback story of the century, Derrick Rose has been able to fight through an abundance of injuries, including an ACL tear and numerous torn menisci, for his best season since 2012. With almost 19 points per game on 48% shooting, combined with almost three rebounds and close to five assists, Rose is a clear starter and quality player for the Timberwolves, but his play still isn’t at the level of being second among all-star guards.
Rose currently ranks above the likes of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Damian Lillard. Obviously, Rose is a beneficiary of an inspirational comeback story. On the brink of retirement in 2017, he eventually was willed back to the league and onto the Timberwolves, where he has been able to shine and show to everyone watching what perseverance and dedication can lead to. His story is authentic and genuine, but his deservance of a starting all-star spot is questionable.
Dwayne Wade: 2nd place among Eastern Conference Guards
In his retirement season, Dwayne Wade has indicated to us that it is indeed time to hang up the sneakers. Flash is shooting a career low from the field at 41%, while chipping in a modest 14 points per game along with a handful of rebounds and assists. No shade towards one of the greatest shooting guards of all time, though – he’s providing a leadership role for a Miami squad that’s in the thick of a tight eastern conference playoff pool.
While D-Wade should certainly be granted an all-star spot in the final season of what has been an illustrious career, being granted the second starting guard spot isn’t necessarily fair to other top eastern conference guards. He ranks above Kemba Walker, who is averaging over 25 points per game and keeping Charlotte relevant in the playoff picture, and Ben Simmons, who is averaging a near triple-double in each game.
Luka Doncic: 2nd place among Western Conference Frontcourt
Luka Doncic is second among West froncourt candidates in 1st NBA All-Star fan voting returns after LeBron & before KD, AD and PG. Dwyane Wade is second among East guards. Derrick Rose is second among West guards and has more votes than Harden, Westbrook, Klay, Dame and DeRozan. pic.twitter.com/PNpSOJeSW3
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) January 3, 2019
Stud rookie Luka Doncic has turned in a stellar rookie season thus far, dropping just over 19 points per game next to near 7 rebounds and 5 assists. He’s shooting a mediocre 43% from the field, but such is to be expected from a rookie. While these are leading numbers for the Rookie of the Year race, his All-Star vote positioning has him above names like Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and Nikola Jokic.
While Doncic’s rookie season gives a lot for fans and the Mavericks to be excited for, it comes as a surprise that he’s beaten out big-market players like Kevin Durant, and face-of-the-franchise players like Anthony Davis, thus far. Doncic certainly holds the reins to the future of the Mavericks and should be a cornerstone on their team for years to come, but his current All-Star credibility should be double checked.
Though every player in voting’s first returns has their own story and a bona fide case for being placed on one of this season’s All-Star rosters, some players have a stronger pitch than others. Fans, coaches, and media alike must be even in their weighting of novelty value and legitimate talent when filling out their all-star voting ballots in hopes of giving the best overall players the best possible opportunities to participate in February’s festivities.