While voting for starters doesn't conclude until Jan. 20, we already have a pretty good idea of which Heat players will take the court in New Orleans on February 16 for the annual exhibition game.
LeBron and Dwyane are locks to the highest degree.
When the league released the first voting results on Dec. 12, James (609,336) had about 120,000 votes more than any other player in the Eastern Conference. The mystery around James isn't if he's going to start or not, it's what position he's going to start at.
With the center position eliminated in favor of three frontcourt positions last season, LeBron is likely to start at center opposite Dwight Howard, considering Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are the two other players likely to be voted as starting frontcourt players in the East.
If you think the idea of LBJ starting at center is strange, you're not the only one. James said the following to B/R's Ethan Skolnick:
That is hilarious. That is crazy! I would start at center in the All-Star Game? Against Dwight Howard?
Just as LeBron led the way in the Dec. 12 numbers for East frontcourt players, Wade was the top vote-getter among East backcourt players with 396,279.
While Wade was always a lock to start the game, Derrick Rose's torn meniscus made Dwyane's place that much more obvious, as the starting backcourt situation used to have three players (Wade, Rose and Kyrie Irving) competing for two spots. Now, with Rose out for the year, Wade and Irving have a clear path to be the starting backcourt.
Take a look at how far ahead Wade, Irving and Rose were of the rest of the next closest backcourt contender, John Wall, when the first numbers were released.
From Inside Hoops:
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 396,279
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 365,712
3. Derrick Rose (Chi) 272,410
4. John Wall (Was) 124,851
Once you get past Wade and James, things get a little more interesting for Miami.
Bosh isn't going to start the game, which shouldn't come as a surprise, given we talked about James, George and Anthony as the likely frontcourt starters.
However, Bosh has a great chance to be voted in by the coaches.
The coaches voted Bosh in the game each of the past three seasons, so it's clear they appreciate his game.
He's having a fine season, with averages of 14.6 points on 51.9 percent shooting and 6.1 rebounds per game (although, some would argue those numbers aren't worthy of an All-Star selection).
He's on a great team and plays a big role in the their winning.
Bosh garnered 156,364 votes by the time the first numbers came out, so he's someone the fans want to see in the game, which could sway coaches to vote for him.
He's not a lock, but it would be pretty shocking if he doesn't make the team. We'll give Bosh an 85 percent chance.
As for Allen and Chalmers, simply put, their odds are slim to none. Chalmers is having the best season of his career with averages of 9.0 points (43.2 three-point percentage) and 4.7 assists, but those still aren't near All-Star level numbers. Super Mario's chances are as good as zero.
Allen has a better chance than Chalmers based on his career resume, but Ray's still a sixth man who doesn't provide a whole lot of value to the Heat other than his three-point shot (9.9 PPG, 38.8 three-point percentage).
Also, I can't imagine the coaches are going to want to turn the East All-Star team into the mini-Heat (Allen would give them four players, with the assumption Bosh makes the team). Ray surely has a ton of respect from the league's coaches, but not so much respect that they would be willing to put him in the game over someone like Arron Afflalo (21.6 points and four assists per game) who is much more deserving.
The Heat are in all likelihood going to end up having its Big Three in the All-Star Game, as has been the case each of the previous three years.