The NBA All-Star Game is just a few months away, and fans all around the world are anticipating the revealing of the lineups to see if their favorite players made the team.
As for the Chicago Bulls, they have five players on the ballot this year: Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. The biggest surprise is Gibson; he's a great defender and rebounder, but his offense leaves more to be desired.
Still, the chances of a Bulls player making it on the team seem pretty favorable as they hold a good portion of the candidates.
Last season, the Bulls had two All-Stars (Luol Deng and Derrick Rose) for the first time since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were both on the team in 1997. They'll look to continue that trend as the end of voting draws near.
I'll be looking at each Bulls player on the ballot and predicting what their chances of making the team are.
Odds will be based on the spots available for each position as well as players that are a threat to take a spot. I will assume seven spots for the frontcourt and five for the backcourt.
Season Averages: 6.2 PPG, 34.9% FG, 5.3 APG, 2.3 RPG
Kirk Hinrich hasn't had a very good season thus far. He's filling in for Derrick Rose, who's still rehabbing from his knee injury, but he's been very inconsistent. His defense has been fairly solid as usual, but his offense has been pretty non-existent.
While he's not expected to be an offensive threat for the team, his shooting has been really bad. He currently has career lows in all shooting categories.
Odds of making the team: 20:1
Season Averages: 17.7 PPG, 43.5% FG, 7 RPG, 2.8 APG
Luol Deng made the All-Star team last year for the way he elevated his game after the injuries Derrick Rose suffered during the regular season.
This season, he is averaging a career-high in points per game and is on pace to have his second-best rebounding year. His three-point shooting has not been as good in years past, but he continues to be the primary scorer for the Bulls.
Aside from his offense, Deng is also considered one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league, and it could be the deciding factor if he is to be selected.
Being one of the most versatile forwards in the league, Deng has a solid shot at being selected as a reserve for his second consecutive year.
Odds of making the team: 8:1
Season Averages: 14.4 PPG, 47.5% FG, 9.8 RPG, 2 APG
Carlos Boozer has been highly criticized by Bulls fans since his arrival in 2010 mainly due to his lack of defense.
His offense, however, has been fairly good. He's currently the second-leading scorer for the Bulls and is having his best rebounding year as a member of the team.
There are several factors working against him in making the All-Star team. Two of them are his very own teammates, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. The other is that there are just too many choices in the frontcourt for the Eastern Conference.
Boozer has a chance to make it, but he'd have to elevate his game to heights similar to those he displayed in Utah. I just don't see it happening.
Odd of making the team: 18:1
Season Averages: 6.3 PPG, 44.3% FG, 4.6 RPG, 1.08 BPG
Taj Gibson's appearance on the All-Star ballot was a pretty big surprise for Bulls fans, especially considering the fact that he comes off the bench.
His defense and hustle on the court is definitely deserving of All-Star consideration, though.
Gibson faces the same obstacles as Boozer: The amount and caliber of opposing candidates is just too hard for Gibson to overcome.
It will all depend on whether the coaches see his defense and rebounding and decide that it is enough to make him an All-Star.
I think Gibson will see his time as an All-Star soon, but not this year.
Odds of making the team: 25:1
Season Averages: 13.6 PPG, 48.6% FG, 10.6 RPG, 2.25 BPG
Joakim Noah may have the best case to make the team this year. He's having a career year, averaging highs in points, blocks, steals and free throw percentage. He's also had his first two career triple-doubles this year.
Noah's effort on the court is one-of-a-kind, and it has shown as he has elevated his game to new heights. In the absence of Derrick Rose, he has been, without a doubt, the Bulls' best player.
The only thing working against him is the removal of the center position from the All-Star teams, as there are now more players who could take his spot. Anderson Varejao, Greg Monroe and Brook Lopez are among those who could poach.
Noah has a spotlight on him, though. Without Rose, many have looked at the Bulls and wondered who would be the one to step up. It appears that Noah has answered the call of duty.
I like Noah's chances to make the team.
Odds of making the team: 5:1