It's tough to argue too much with the fans' choices to start the 2013 NBA All-Star Game.
Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul have been the two best guards in the Western Conference by a wide margin this season—far more so than Jeremy Lin's performance at the ballot box would suggest. Even those two LA-based superstars would have to admit that Kevin Durant, in what's been another transcendent campaign for the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar, deserved a trip to Houston without contest.
Especially considering that KD's vote total far outpaces the endemic population of the city in which he plays.
On the other side, at least four of the spots among the Eastern Conference's starting five were fully accounted for. There was no way LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo weren't going to be busy on February 17th, when the All-Star Game is set to air on TNT. The whole crew from Inside the NBA offered their thoughts on who should accompany the 10 fan favorites in Houston (via Beyond the Buzzer):
Kenny Smith, Chris Webber, Shaq & Barkley's All-Star reserve selections. What do you guys think? twitter.com/BeyondTheBuzze…
— Beyond The Buzzer(@BeyondTheBuzzer) January 18, 2013
But there remains plenty of room for debate within those two squads.
Did Kevin Garnett, an effective-but-declining forward on a Boston Celtics squad that's struggled through much of the first half of the season, deserve a 15th All-Star appearance? What about Dwight Howard, who hasn't dominated in the middle with the same consistency as years past? Or Blake Griffin, whose numbers are down as his role on the ever-deepening Los Angeles Clippers has decreased?
And who might've challenged them for starting spots had fans not spent hundreds of thousands of ballots on the likes of Jeremy Lin, Pau Gasol and Manu Ginobili in the West; and Amar'e Stoudemire, Andrew Bynum, Shane Battier and Jeff Green in the East?
Surely, these five studs deserved more votes than they got and, perhaps, would've been voted in as All-Star starters if they had.