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Kobe, LeBron, Howard lead NBA All-Star starters

Feb 2, 2012, 7:20 PM EDT

2011 NBA All-Star Game Getty Images

Well fans, you got the game you wanted. And it should be a good one (as defenseless exhibitions go). Good on ya.

The NBA has announced the starters for the All-Star game, as voted in by the fans. Usually there are a painful choice or two, but this year it’s a solid group. We can quibble, but there is no outright disaster.

Here are the starters you picked:

Eastern Conference:

Guards: Derrick Rose (Chicago), Dwyane Wade (Miami)
Forwards: LeBron James (Miami), Carmelo Anthony (New York)
Center: Dwight Howard (Orlando)

Notes: Dwight Howard got the most votes of any player, 1.6 million, but Derrick Rose was only about 86,000 back of him and LeBron was third in the vote getting in the East.

Fan mistake: Not sure there was a glaring one. If I could make one change it would be to remove Carmelo Anthony and replace him with Orlando’s Ryan Anderson or Miami’s Chris Bosh, as ‘Melo has struggled in his point-forward role for the Knicks. Anderson has been a revelation for the Magic and Bosh has started to find his stride and space in Miami (at least with Wade out). But ‘Melo is still a guy putting up big numbers carrying the Knicks..

Western Conference

Guards: Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
Forwards: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)
Center: Andrew Bynum (Los Angeles Lakers)

Notes: This is Kobe’s 14th time an All-Star starter, moving him one ahead of Jordan on that list. (Most All-Star games ever? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at 18.) Kobe also led the West with 1.5 million votes (second most overall), Durant was second in the West with 1.3 million. Blake Griffin and Andrew Bynum are each making their first All-Star start.

Fan mistake: Four of the five starters are from Los Angeles? Again, nothing that really bothers me a lot, but I would swap Kevin Love into the starting lineup and have Blake Griffin come off the bench. I prefer Love’s well-rounded game and think he carries more of a load with his team. I might put LaMarcus Aldridge ahead of him, too. But Griffin is playing well, he is far from a bad choice.

Coaches will choose the reserves, and that is going to be where the hard decisions are. Those come in a week.

  1. jimsjam33 - Feb 2, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Funny how life is . We all have an opinion . Blake Griffin at this very moment is the hottest and most recognizable basketball player in the world . For good reason too . He is easily the most exciting player to come into the NBA since Michael Jordan . The Clippers have sold out their once empty arena on a consistant basis . You can’t buy a ticket to a Clipper game . Why ? Because the Clippers are the most value for the buck . High flying trapeze buckets every night and oohs and aahs abound from visitors and home town fans alike .
    For anyone to say that Blake Griffin should not start in this game is subject to blasphemy . Kevin Love ( Ex-UCLA ) is an All-Star no doubt and will be on the team . LaMarcus Aldridge , according to you , should be on the team because ” Portland needs to be represented . ” Sorry , but that’s not the criteria for making this team . All-Stars shine and that’s what the game is all about . I think the NBA fans who voted got it exactly right ! I would not argue with any of their 10 selections .

  2. dgbk - Feb 2, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    no one watches all star games for a well rounded games…. ppl want to see high lights…. love will have to win like duncan to get the luv from the fans until than he will come off the bench

    • allabadi - Feb 2, 2012 at 9:44 PM

      it shouldnt matter what people want to see in my opinion. To be an all star is an honor, a reward and recognition for outstanding play. Well rounded (should be) > highlights. Unfortunately its a popularity contest now.

    • trbowman - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:19 PM

      A better question is why anyone watches the all-star game for any reason.

  3. xrateplaya - Feb 2, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    This guy doesn’t know jack! Watch all star games for the highlights.. Not the old school shooting like the wnba.. Love is good but is not an all star starter

    I saw ur reserves.. They were bad too

  4. 00maltliquor - Feb 2, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Fans got it right this time. You can argue Love over Griffin, but this is an all-star game. You can also probably swap Melo but like I said about Griffin, this is an all-star game. It’s a pretty big drop off in talent after the 1st two east forwards, so, I guess it can be Melo. Overall it’s pretty spot on.

  5. bozosforall - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    No Celtics…as it should be. They SUCK

  6. florida727 - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    I like Dwight Howard. I really do. But more votes than Derrick Rose? Really? Who’s more exciting to watch? Howard plays great defense, and dunks. That’s it. You never know what to expect when the ball is in Rose’s hands.

  7. greynraney - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    What a joke the All-Star game as become – 3 teams represented in the starting 5. We can only hope that the league steps up and gives LaMarcus Aldridge the opportunity he deserves and leaves Tim Duncan at home like they should have last year!

  8. gobucs02 - Feb 4, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Andrew Bynum?

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