Utah Jazz Have 4 Players on NBA All-Star Ballot, Led by 3 Big Men

Zac Watne@thoughtcomicsCorrespondent IIJanuary 5, 2012

Photo Credits: (AP Photo/George Frey)
Photo Credits: (AP Photo/George Frey)

The NBA announced today that the Utah Jazz have four players on the 2011-12 NBA All-Star ballot, including center Al Jefferson, forwards Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors and point guard Devin Harris.

Al Jefferson is currently leading the Jazz with 18.4 points and 1.6 blocks per game, putting him at 18th overall for points and 16th for blocks. He had a season-high 26 points against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 3, helping the Jazz win their second game in a row for the first time in this young season.

Jefferson had 10 or more rebounds in three games, and he has had double-doubles in points and rebounds in two contests (the recent game against the Bucks, while also scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a losing effort to the San Antonio Spurs on New Year's Eve). 

Paul Millsap currently leads the Jazz in rebounds (9.2), while ranking 13th in the NBA in rebounding. Millsap also leads the Jazz in steals per game (2.0), putting him tied for fourth overall in the league with eight other players, including the Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.

Millsap's marque game this year came against the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 30 when he scored 14 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and had three steals to help lead the Jazz to their first victory this season. Millsap has also recorded two double-doubles this season, and he is currently averaging 12.0 points per game.

Sophomore Derrick Favors is averaging 8.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game (tied for 22nd in the league). He has a breakout game filling in for injured Al Jefferson against the 76ers when he scored 20 points, going 10-for-16 from the field, and he also pulled in 11 rebounds. He is averaging 24.8 minutes per game, though that may increase with Al Jefferson’s banged up ankle.

Devin Harris was the only player from the Jazz’s backcourt to be placed on the NBA All-Star ballot. Harris was an NBA All-Star in 2009 with the New Jersey Nets, though his numbers are down considerably from that year (averaged 21.3 points and 6.9 assists per game). Harris is averaging 10.2 points, 4.2 assists, and one rebound per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field.

The All-Star selection process is a fan-based system, where fans can vote either through NBA.com, through their Facebook account, or via an expanded SMS messaging (newly instituted this year). Fans can vote for 10 different players each day, per phone number, a change from the previous restriction of one player per day.

Voting will conclude on Jan. 31 and the starting lineups will be announced on Feb. 2. The shortened season makes voting this year an interesting process given the limited games that have been played. Being selected by a panelist of NBA experts is an honor for these players and reflects how important they are to a team now sitting at a .500 record, with hopes of changing that as they face a favorable home schedule during January.

Make your voices heard and help these Jazz players represent a proud and storied franchise.