NBA All-Star Game Rosters 2018: Voting Results for Starters; Predicting Reserves

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 19:  Kyrie Irving #2 of the Eastern Conference goes to the basket during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2017 All-Star Weekend at the Smoothie King Center on February 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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What's that old saying?

"Ask and you shall receive."

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said he would have no problem making picks as the Western Conference captain for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles, and now, he'll be able to do just that.

"Why not?" Curry told Anthony Slater of The Athletic last week. "I'll be the first to usher in the new system. I used to go to the playground all the time, and you wanted to be the guy picking teams. That meant you were something on the court back in the day. It'll be a cool vibe to see how it all shakes out and how unique you can make the lineups."

He and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James were chosen by the fans, the players and 99 members of the basketball media as the two captains for the game after being the top vote-getters for their respective conferences.

Now, Curry and James will select the other four starters for their team from the pool of names revealed yesterday, regardless of conference affiliation.

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks with Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in Game Five of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 12, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

The complete pool of starters, which was revealed Thursday night during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader, can be viewed below: 

Eastern Conference

  • Frontcourt: LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers (27.3 PPG, 8.8 AST, 8.0 REB)
  • Frontcourt: Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks (28.2 PPG, 10.1 REB, 4.6 AST)
  • Frontcourt: Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers (23.8 PPG, 10.8 REB, 1.9 BLK)
  • Backcourt:  Kyrie Irving, G, Boston Celtics (24.1 PPG, 5.0 AST, 47.3 FG%)
  • Backcourt:  DeMar DeRozan, G, Toronto Raptors (25.2 PPG, 5.0 AST, 48.0 FG%)


Western Conference

  • Frontcourt: Kevin Durant, F, Golden State Warriors (26.2 PPG, 5.4 AST, 2.1 BLK)
  • Frontcourt: Anthony Davis, F, New Orleans Pelicans (26.7 PPG, 10.5 REB, 2.1 BLK)
  • Frontcourt: DeMarcus Cousins, C, New Orleans Pelicans (25.3 PPG, 12.7 REB, 5.1 AST)
  • Backcourt:  Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors (27.7 PPG, 6.5 AST, 41.8 3P%)
  • Backcourt: James Harden, G, Houston Rockets (32.3 PPG, 9.1 AST, 1.8 STL)

If Curry wanted to choose Irving for his team, he could do that. If James wanted to pick Harden, that is allowed under the new format.

The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones tweeted a detailed look at the final fan, player and media voting results:

Jason Jones @mr_jasonjones

FYI https://t.co/5dV3L9WtwL

For the fan vote in the East, Giannis Antetokounmpo (2,530,211), Joel Embiid (1,285,587), Kyrie Irving (2,170,833) and DeMar Derozan (998,999) led the pack. In the West, Kevin Durant (2,238,406), James Harden (1,486,830), Anthony Davis (1,088,230) and Demarcus Cousins (922,269) joined Curry as the top seeds.

Just like last year, NBA players and 99 members of the basketball media joined fans in voting to select the starters. Fan votes accounted for 50 percent, while player and media votes represented 25 percent, respectively.

Had the vote been left to the fans, Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (1,135,478) would be starting over Cousins and San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili (1,808,860) would have gotten the nod instead of Harden. Cousins and Harden landed in the starting lineup because of the player and media vote.

Next up are the reserves. NBA head coaches will select 14 players that they feel had outstanding, All-Star seasons and those names will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23, during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. 

Among the top names for the reserves from the East are Kristaps Porzingis, the Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal and John Wall, Al Horford of the Boston Celtics, Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets.

Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers should be a lock because of the quantum leap he made since being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder. His scoring is up from 15.9 to 24.3 ppg, his field goal percentage is up from 44 percent to 48 percent and he's shooting 40 percent from behind the arc.

Many analysts thought the Pacers would take a huge dip with the departure of Paul George, but Oladipo has made all of them eat those words.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JANUARY 15: Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers brings the ball up court during a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 15, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Indiana Pacers won 109-94. NOTE TO USER: User
Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

The reserves from the West include Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Golden State's Green and Klay Thompson, the Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler and Karl Anthony Towns.

The surprise contender for a spot this year could be Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers. Williams has always been a walking bucket, but this season, he's taken his game up a notch, averaging a career-high 23.2 points per game, while shooting 45 percent from the field and career highs of 41 percent from three and 90 percent from the free throw line.

The other deserving player that could threaten Williams' spot is Portland Trailblazers' point guard Damian Lillard.

Lillard, who has made two All-Star Game appearances in his six-year career, last played in the game in 2015.

He spoke with Chris Haynes of ESPN.com about his frustrations with being snubbed every year:

"I've gotten frustrated just for the fact that it feels like I always got to be the fall guy and every other guy has been deserving. In the past, the thing has been, 'All right, my team has been 10 games under .500 or not in the playoffs,' but every year we've found a way to be in the postseason, and this year I think we're in much better position than we have been in the past two seasons that I didn't make it. I think I've gotten over the emotional part of it the last few times that I didn't make it. Now I'm kind of like expecting it to go that way, but I feel like I should be there."

The 27-year old California native ranks sixth among all NBA point guards in Player Efficiency Rating, according to ESPN.com, but the West is stacked with superstar guards.

PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 18:  Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots against the Indiana Pacers at Moda Center on January 18, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.
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Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Once the reserves are known, the captains will select the rest of their teams.

Unfortunately, the actual draft won't be televised. The final team rosters will be broadcast on Thursday, Jan. 25, during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.

As for selecting head coaches, the process remains unchanged. Like previous games, the Eastern Conference and Western Conference coach that clinch the best record in their conference two weeks before the game will earn a spot on the bench.

Boston Celtics' Brad Stevens and Golden State's Steve Kerr are both ineligible, though, because they coached the game last season. Although the players will disregard conference affiliation, the coaches will align with the respective captain from each conference.

The 67th annual midseason classic, which will be played at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 18 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT), will be televised on TNT for the 16th consecutive year.


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