As we inch closer to mid-season, fans are submitting their votes for the 2013 All-Star Game ballot, and the Philadelphia 76ers are fortunate enough to have four players represent their squad: Andrew Bynum, Spencer Hawes, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young.
Regardless of who you think may have gotten snubbed, the Sixers are being recognized to a degree. In recent history, the Sixers struggled to gain recognition. With these four guys on the ballot, we can only help but wonder the chances of them making the team, and it's a thought we can come close to answering for each individual rather easily.
For those of you that do not know about the voting it goes like this: A ballot consists of five votes (three frontcourt players and two guards). There are 36 frontcourt players and 24 guards to choose from along with a write-in vote for each position. The top three frontcourt players and guards selected will formulate the starting five while the coach selects the bench (the coach also must select three frontcourt players, two guards, plus two other players regardless of their position).
Last Thursday the first returns were released which were updated results of the voting process. The returns detailed the top 15 frontcourt players and 10 guards voted by the fans by that point.
Unfortunately (yet expected), Young and Hawes did not make the cut. In Hawes' case, let's just say he should be very grateful for the honor of being put on the ballot because 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game is not All-Star worthy to me or anyone for that matter.
Thad on the other hand is putting together a solid season averaging 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He plays a significant role for Philadelphia but to the general public he is not a flashy name.
That said, a couple Sixers fared decent in the voting. Holiday was 10th among guards and Bynum ranked ninth in the frontcourt pool. However, their success in the fan vote is virtually irrelevant when compared to the leaders.
Although ranking tenth, Holiday only has just over 35,000 votes, whereas the top two, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, each have over 380,000. Bynum on the other hand falls about 150,000 votes behind third place, Kevin Garnett.
Now, at first one might think it is pretty impressive that Bynum ranks in the top 10 considering he has yet to play a single minute in a game this year. However, keep in mind it is the fan's voting and that means the most popular succeed. It's nothing new either, it is the same concept every year in every sport where the fans have the power to vote.
But because Bynum will not come close to finding his way into the top three, he will almost definitely not make the All-Star team. When the decision is left to any coach, he will not select a player who has yet to play a game.
So yes, technically every Sixer will have a better chance of making the team than Bynum because it has reached the point where we can assume the only chance of the players making the team is at the will of the coach.
Because of this, Holiday definitely puts forth the most convincing argument for a roster spot: 18.4 points and 8.9 assists per game. He has evidently stepped-up for the Sixers in big moments this year as the number one guy and is finally living up to his potential consistently.
The only thing that really works against Holiday is the depth at the point guard position. Guys like Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo and Kyrie Irving, to name just a few in the East, can potentially prevent Holiday from getting a roster spot.
However, based on what we know, we can somewhat project how Holiday's chances will unfold.
Assuming the voting remains consistent with Wade and Rondo as the guards, assuming that the coach splits the guards evenly between point guards and shooting guards, and selects a player of his choice as a point guard, there is room for two more point guards after Rondo.
Most likely two of the following will be in the hunt for those spots: Deron Williams, Holiday, Irving, Brandon Jennings and Raymond Felton.
From a pure statistical standpoint, Williams and Irving are the only ones with slight leverage over Holiday, but keep in mind that Holiday has easily been the most durable of the bunch this season.
I'm not one to count my chickens before they hatch, but Holiday's chances of making the All-Star game are more than decent and definitely greater than that of any other Sixer. He has tough competition, no doubt, but he also has the resumé to support his case.
Anticipating the final results from the coach will be a little uneasy just because of the uncertainty, but here is to hoping that a Sixer will be representing Philadelphia in the All-Star Game this year.
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