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2016 NBA All-Star Saturday Recap

With an electrifying dunk contest and a nail-biter of a three-point contest, this year’s All-Star Saturday truly entertained. Here’s a recap.

Joel Brigham

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As far as All-Star Saturday nights go, this was easily one of the most entertaining we’ve ever seen, with the elimination of the Shooting Stars Challenge, which never was all that fun to watch anyway, and legitimately nail-baiting moments throughout all of the evening’s remaining three events. It was fun from start to finish, giving fans in Toronto more bang for their buck than they probably expected.

Taco Bell Skills Challenge

The biggest change for the Skills Challenge this year was the addition of a second half of the bracket featuring big men. That meant that on one side, DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis and Draymond Green were to compete for the opportunity of playing one of the speedier backcourt guys, including C.J. McCollum, Jordan Clarkson, Isaiah Thomas and Emmanuel Mudiay.

The head-to-head format that started last season worked well again this year, as it seems to put a little extra pep in the competitors’ collective steps. In the first round, McCollum and Clarkson both showed more hustle than is typical for this contest, but McCollum was very clearly better, while Thomas won his matchup against Mudiay despite looking like he was only going at about 70 percent speed.

On the big men’s side, Draymond Green got out to a huge lead in his first-round matchup against Towns but missed enough three-pointers to keep Towns in it, and sure enough, the rookie sunk his shot and knocked out the guy some people thought would win it all. On the other side, Cousins fumbled his dribble almost immediately but still somehow managed to knock down his three-pointer first to top the Unibrow. Boogie of course danced off the court with swagger.

In the semifinals, McCollum had a horrible round against the flawless Isaiah Thomas, who hit his first chest pass and sunk his first three-point attempt. McCollum, meanwhile, dribbled off his leg through the logos and didn’t hit a single pass.

Thomas would ultimately face Towns in the championship round, after Towns toppled Cousins in a pretty unsurprising upset considering how hard Towns was working and how slowly Cousins was moving. In the championship, both guys really got down to business and ran their rear ends off. Both Thomas and Towns hit their first pass and sunk their layups at exactly the same time. Then they volleyed through a couple of three-pointers until Towns, the big man, finally won.

The rest of his frontcourt teammates stormed the court to congratulate Towns, the player who took the event most seriously and pretty clearly wanted to win the thing. He did, proving that big men got skills, too.

Foot Locker Three-Point Contest

Before officially getting underway, Draymond Green and comedian Kevin Hart pulled off an entertaining appetizer by facing off against each other in a quick three-point contest bit that Green clearly was supposed to win. He didn’t, as Hart drained a shot at the buzzer to beat the All-Star forward, which was quite a bit more awesome than the gag at the end that saw Green get a Hart-sized trophy despite his loss. Nobody loves All-Star Weekend more than Hart, do they?

For the real contest, Klay Thompson kicked things off with a hot start by scoring 22 points, the highest score of the first round. James Harden and J.J. Redick both followed up with scores of 20, leaving Khris Middleton to be the first player of the night to fall short of that mark.

Middleton looked pretty nervous and shaken under the bright lights and only scored a 13. Suns rookie Devin Booker had a slow start, too, but the difference between the two was that Booker, like every other guy before him except Middleton, also managed 20 points. He, Redick and Harden would ultimately undergo a shoot-off to see who would end up in the championship round.

The other half of the first round saw C.J. McCollum and Kyle Lowry both serve up disappointing rounds, while defending champion Stephen Curry snuck into the finals on his last shot, a money ball that gave him a score of 21 and pushed him ahead of the three shoot-off guys. Booker surprisingly won that shoot-off, eliminating Redick and Harden, so by the end of the first round we were left with Booker and the two Warriors’ guards, as well as a strong distaste for the Demi Lovato “Confident” instrumental that had been playing more or less nonstop for the previous 20 minutes.

In the final round, Booker showed his inexperience by scoring only 16 points, while Steph put up a blazing score of 23, the highest of the night at that point. To beat his teammate, Klay Thompson would have to score at least 24 points, which he did easily by sinking the entire final rack, consisting entirely of money balls. He finished with a score of 27 and stole away the three-point title from his teammate, Curry. At least he kept it in the Golden State family.

Verizon Slam Dunk Contest

It’s been a very long time since the dunk contest was the marquee event the NBA has billed it as, but Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine put together a showdown for the ages on Saturday that included some of the most impressive dunks the contest has ever seen. Nothing against Will Barton or Andre Drummond, who each had their fair share of creative first-round slams, but the party got started when Gordon and LaVine really got down to business.

Gordon, who in the first round ripped the ball off of his mascot’s head, tucked it though his legs, then dunked it with authority, was the first person really to get the crowd energized. Everybody but Shaquille O’Neal gave that dunk a 10, which was fine because when LaVine completed an alley-oop dunk from the free-throw line, Shaq also returned the same controversial score, to the boisterous glee of the rest of the voting panel.

Either way those two dunks finished the first round and ensured the finals fans clearly were hoping for. There, Gordon sent his mascot to spin in circles on a hoverboard so that he had to time his jump perfectly to snatch the ball. When he did, he cuffed it with one hand, tucked the other hand behind his head and diligently stuffed the thing home like it was a Nerf hoop. It was completely creative and exciting, so much so that even Shaq had to give it a ten.

LaVine followed that up with a similar dunk minus the mascot, though LaVine grabbed it even lower out of the air and seemed to dip it down before round-housing the cuffed ball back up and around on the first attempt. Another 50-point dunk.

Next up, Gordon did a variation of his first mascot dunk, but this time swung the ball directly under his seat and slammed it on the other side of the rim, a completely new dunk for the dunk contest that may have electrified the crowd more than any dunk all night and easily could have been the evening’s most entertaining stunt. That alone would have won Gordon the contest in any other year, but LaVine refused to make it easy.

As a response to that dunk, LaVine pulled off a windmill from the free-throw line. No big deal, just another 50-point score. For his turn, Gordon then grabbed it from the side of the backboard, twisted, pumped and went in for the reverse. 50 points again. Next, LaVine lobbed the ball from behind the backboard, went through his legs and two-hand reversed it, giving the crowd its sixth consecutive perfect score.

Because no one faltered at all in the finals, there had to be a freestyle dunk-off, and while Gordon clearly was out of ideas and didn’t prepare a sixth dunk, he still managed something pretty impressive with a double-double pump that ultimately earned him a 47. LaVine, then, jumped a few inches in front of the free-throw line, went through his legs and stuffed it. While he lived at the free-throw line all night, which some could argue showed a lack of creativity, the dunks he did were impossible, which is why that last one also earned him a 50 and sent him to the winner’s podium for the second straight year.

All that will be tough to top next year, but thanks to some nail-biters and genuinely entertaining moments the 2016 All-Star Saturday activities were as good as they’ve ever been. Let’s hope Sunday’s game is just as fun.

Joel Brigham is a senior writer for Basketball Insiders, covering the Central Division and fantasy basketball.

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2018 NBA All-Star Reserves Announced

Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and four first-time All-Stars lead the list of 14 players selected by the NBA’s head coaches as reserves for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2018 – Reigning Kia NBA MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and four first-time All-Stars lead the list of 14 players selected by the NBA’s head coaches as reserves for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Joining Westbrook as reserves in the Western Conference player pool are LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs, Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. Towns is an All-Star for the first time. With Green and Thompson earning spots alongside starters Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, the Warriors are the first team to have a record-tying four All-Stars in consecutive years.

The Eastern Conference reserve pool includes three first-time All-Stars: Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks. They are joined by Al Horford of the Boston Celtics, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and John Wall of the Wizards.

The 67th NBA All-Star Game, featuring Team LeBron vs. Team Stephen, will air on TNT and ESPN Radio. The midseason classic will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

Under the new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between conferences, Curry and Cleveland’s LeBron James – the All-Star starter from each conference who received the most fan votes in his conference – will serve as team captains and draft the team rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves. All-Star team rosters will be unveiled on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. ET in a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader.

Curry and James will select the team rosters without regard for conference affiliation. Each captain will choose 11 players to complete a 12-man roster. The 2018 NBA All-Star Draft rules are as follows:

  • The eight All-Star Game starters (aside from Curry and James) will be drafted in the first round.
  • The 14 All-Star Game reserves will be drafted in the second round.
  • As the top overall vote-getter among fans, James will have the first pick in the first round (starters). Curry will have the first pick in the second round (reserves).
  • The captains will alternate picks in each round until all players in that round have been selected.

The starters, announced last week, were selected by a combination of fans, current NBA players and a media panel. The East starter pool is James, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) and Kyrie Irving (Boston). The West starter pool is Curry, DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans), Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Kevin Durant (Golden State) and James Harden (Houston Rockets).

The 14 reserves were chosen by the NBA’s 30 head coaches. The coaches voted for seven players in their respective conferences – two guards, three frontcourt players and two additional players at either position group. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game, choosing a player from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Silver’s selection would join the team that drafted the replaced player. If a replaced player is a starter, the head coach of that team will choose a new starter.

Team LeBron will be coached by the head coach from the Eastern Conference team with the best record through games played on Sunday, Feb. 4 among the 14 teams with an eligible head coach. Boston’s Brad Stevens is ineligible because he coached in last year’s All-Star Game. Team Stephen will be coached by the head coach from the Western Conference team with the best record through Feb. 4 among the 14 teams with an eligible head coach. Golden State’s Steve Kerr is ineligible because he coached in last year’s game.

2018 NBA ALL-STAR GAME RESERVE POOL

Eastern Conference

Bradley Beal, Wizards (1st All-Star selection): In his sixth season, Beal is averaging a career-high 23.6 points per game and has more games of at least 20 points (35) than all but four players, trailing Antetokounmpo (40), Harden (37), James (36) and Westbrook (36).

Al Horford, Celtics (5th All-Star selection): The 31-year-old is one of three players averaging at least 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and one blocked shot, joining Cousins and James.

Kevin Love, Cavaliers (5th All-Star selection): Love (18.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg) is set to appear in the All-Star Game as a Cavalier for the first time; he was named a reserve last year but missed the game in New Orleans with a knee injury.

Kyle Lowry, Raptors (4th All-Star selection): The 12-year veteran’s four All-Star selections have come in four consecutive seasons. Lowry is one of three players averaging at least 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists, along with James and Westbrook.

Victor Oladipo, Pacers (1st All-Star selection): The five-year veteran and first-year Pacer is setting career highs in scoring (24.2 ppg), rebounding (5.2 rpg), steals (1.93 spg), field goal percentage (48.4) and three-point field goal percentage (40.2).

Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks (1st All-Star selection): Porzingis, 22, is set to become the second-youngest Knick to appear in an All-Star Game. New York’s top scorer (23.3 ppg) will be less than two weeks older than Bill Cartwright when he played in the 1980 All-Star Game as a rookie.

John Wall, Wizards (5th All-Star selection): An All-Star with Washington for the fifth straight year, he is now tied for the second-most selections in team history behind Elvin Hayes (eight). Wall is averaging at least 19.0 points and 9.0 assists for the third season in a row.

Western Conference

LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs (6th All-Star selection): He is averaging team highs of 22.3 points and 8.7 rebounds, his highest marks in three seasons with San Antonio. The Spurs have now had at least one player selected to 20 consecutive All-Star Games, the NBA’s longest active streak.

Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves (4th All-Star selection): Making his fourth straight All-Star team, Butler is shooting a career-high 47.6 percent from the field to complement averages of 21.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in his first season with Minnesota.

Draymond Green, Warriors (3rd All-Star selection): The 2016-17 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year earned his third All-Star nod in a row. Green joins James, Westbrook and the 76ers’ Ben Simmons as the only players averaging at least 11.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists.

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers (3rd All-Star selection): Lillard is one of four players averaging at least 25.0 points and 6.0 assists, a group that includes Curry, Harden and James.

Klay Thompson, Warriors (4th All-Star selection): An All-Star for the fourth consecutive year, Thompson (20.6 ppg) is shooting a career-high and NBA-best 45.3 percent from three-point range as well as career highs of 48.6 percent from the field and 88.1 percent from the free throw line.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves (1st All-Star selection): The 22-year-old has recorded an NBA-high 41 double-doubles. Towns (20.2 ppg, 12.1 rpg) joins Butler to give Minnesota two All-Star selections for the first time since the 2003-04 season (Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett).

Russell Westbrook, Thunder (7th All-Star selection): Westbrook, the NBA leader in assists (10.1 apg) to go with 24.8 points and 9.7 rebounds, is the only player to win the Kia NBA All-Star MVP outright in back-to-back years (2015 and 2016 games).

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2018 NBA All-Star Starters Announced

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry lead the list of 10 players selected by fans, NBA players and media to start in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.  James and Curry will serve as team captains after finishing as the All-Star starter from each conference who received the most fan votes in his conference.

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NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2018 – The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry lead the list of 10 players selected by fans, NBA players and media to start in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.  James and Curry will serve as team captains after finishing as the All-Star starter from each conference who received the most fan votes in his conference.

The 67th NBA All-Star Game, featuring Team LeBron vs. Team Stephen, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and ESPN Radio.  The midseason classic from Staples Center will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

Under the new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, James and Curry will choose the team rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves.  The All-Star teams will still feature 12 players from each conference, but the captains will select the team rosters without regard for conference affiliation.  Each captain’s first four selections must come from the pool of eight remaining starters.  As the top overall finisher in fan voting, James will make the first pick.

In addition to James (frontcourt), who has been named an All-Star for the 14th consecutive year, the starters from the East player pool are the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (frontcourt), the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (guard), the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (frontcourt) and the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving (guard).

Joining Curry (guard) as starters from the West player pool are the New Orleans Pelicans’ DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis (both frontcourt), the Warriors’ Kevin Durant (frontcourt) and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (guard).

The starters – two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference – were announced tonight during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader.  The network will unveil the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. ET during TNT NBA Tip-Off.  The team rosters will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. ET in a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off.

Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the NBA All-Star Game starters, while current players and a media panel accounted for 25 percent each.  James (2,638,294 fan votes) edged Antetokounmpo (2,530,211) as the top overall vote-getter among fans, while Curry (2,379,494) led the West.  Durant (2,238,406) and Irving (2,170,833) also had the highest fan totals in their respective position groups.

After all votes were tallied, players were ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes.  Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.  The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.  Fan voting served as the tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score.  This year, the tiebreaker was not needed to determine a starting spot.

ALL-STAR GAME STARTER POOL

Eastern Conference

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks (2nd All-Star selection): After starting last year’s game in his All-Star debut, Antetokounmpo will become the first Milwaukee player to start consecutive NBA All-Star Games since Marques Johnson in the 1979 and 1980 midseason classics.

  • DeMar DeRozan, Raptors (4th All-Star selection): Toronto’s all-time leading scorer will start the All-Star Game for the second year in a row after earning his third straight selection.

  • Joel Embiid, 76ers (1st All-Star selection): A first-time All-Star in his second season, Embiid will be the first 76ers player to start an All-Star Game since Allen Iverson in 2006.

  • Kyrie Irving, Celtics (5th All-Star selection): An All-Star for the fifth time in seven seasons, Irving was the MVP of the 2014 All-Star Game as a 21-year-old in his third season.

  • LeBron James, Cavaliers (14th All-Star selection): The four-time Kia NBA MVP will make his 14th All-Star Game start, one behind Kobe Bryant (15) for the most in NBA history.  James has tied Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Jerry West with his 14th All-Star selection, trailing only five players: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19 All-Star selections), Bryant (18), Tim Duncan (15), Kevin Garnett (15) and Shaquille O’Neal (15).

Western Conference

  • DeMarcus Cousins, Pelicans (4th All-Star selection): This marks the fourth straight All-Star berth for Cousins, who made it with the Sacramento Kings in each of the previous three seasons.

  • Stephen Curry, Warriors (5th All-Star selection): The two-time Kia NBA MVP will be the first player in Warriors history to start five consecutive All-Star Games.

  • Anthony Davis, Pelicans (5th All-Star selection): Davis, who scored a record 52 points in last year’s All-Star Game, has passed Chris Paul for the most All-Star selections in Pelicans history. Davis joins Cousins to give New Orleans two All-Star starters for the first time.

  • Kevin Durant, Warriors (9th All-Star selection): The 2012 All-Star Game MVP has been named an All-Star for the ninth season in a row.

  • James Harden, Rockets (6th All-Star selection): His six All-Star nods have all come in his six seasons with Houston, putting him third behind Hakeem Olajuwon (12 All-Star selections) and Yao Ming (eight) for the most in Rockets history.

Below are the overall scores – based on results from all three voting groups – for the top finishers at each position.  Each player’s score is weighted based on 50 percent for fan vote, 25 percent for player vote and 25 percent for media vote.  The formula to determine a player’s score is (Fan Rank * 2 + Player Rank + Media Rank)/4.  For complete voting results and a list of media voters, please visit pr.nba.com.

Eastern Conference Frontcourt

Player (Team)

Fan Rank

Player Rank

Media Rank

Weighted Score

1. *#LeBron James (Cleveland)

     1

     2

     1

     1.25

2. *Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee)

     2

     1

     1

     1.5

3. *Joel Embiid (Philadelphia)

     3

     4

     3

     3.25

4. Kristaps Porzingis (New York)

     4

     3

     4

     3.75

5. Kevin Love (Cleveland)

     5

     6

     7

     5.75

6. Al Horford (Boston)

     7

     8

     5

     6.75

7. Andre Drummond (Detroit)

     9

     5

     6

     7.25

8. Jayson Tatum (Boston)

     6

     12

     8

     8.0

9. Enes Kanter (New York)

     8

     9

     8

     8.25

10. Dwight Howard (Charlotte)

     10

     13

     8

     10.25

Eastern Conference Guards

Player (Team)

Fan Rank

Player Rank

Media Rank

Weighted Score

1. *Kyrie Irving (Boston)

     1

     1

     1

     1.0

2. *DeMar DeRozan (Toronto)

     2

     2

     2

     2.0

3. Victor Oladipo (Indiana)

     4

     3

     3

     3.5

4. Ben Simmons (Philadelphia)

     3

     6

     6

     4.5

5. John Wall (Washington)

     6

     4

     4

     5.0

6. Bradley Beal (Washington)

     9

     5

     4

     6.75

7. Isaiah Thomas (Cleveland)

     7

     9

     6

     7.25

8. Kyle Lowry (Toronto)

     8

     7

     6

     7.25

9. Dwyane Wade (Cleveland)

     5

     15

     6

     7.75

10. Eric Bledsoe (Milwaukee)

     12

     10

     6

     10.0

 *–Voted to start
#–Team captain

Western Conference Frontcourt

Player (Team)

Fan Rank

Player Rank

Media Rank

Weighted Score

1. *Kevin Durant (Golden State)

     1

     1

     1

     1.0

2. *Anthony Davis (New Orleans)

     3

     2

     2

     2.5

3. *DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans)

     4

     3

     4

     3.75

4. Draymond Green (Golden State)

     2

     7

     6

     4.25

5. Paul George (Oklahoma City)

     5

     6

     7

     5.75

6. LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio)

     8

     4

     3

     5.75

7. Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota)

     9

     5

     4

     6.75

8. Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio)

     6

     8

     9

     7.25

9. Carmelo Anthony (Oklahoma City)

     7

     9

     9

     8.0

10. Kyle Kuzma (L.A. Lakers)

     10

     12

     9

     10.25

Western Conference Guards

Player (Team)

Fan Rank

Player Rank

Media Rank

Weighted Score

1. *#Stephen Curry (Golden State)

     1

     1

     2

     1.25

2. *James Harden (Houston)

     3

     2

     1

     2.25

3. Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City)

     4

     3

     3

     3.5

4. Manu Ginobili (San Antonio)

     2

     8

     7

     4.75

5. Klay Thompson (Golden State)

     5

     9

     5

     6.0

6. Chris Paul (Houston)

     7

     7

     5

     6.5

7. Damian Lillard (Portland)

     8

     4

     7

     6.75

8. Jimmy Butler (Minnesota)

     9

     6

     4

     7.0

9. Devin Booker (Phoenix)

     10

     4

     7

     7.75

10. Lonzo Ball (L.A. Lakers)

     6

     13

     7

     8.0

 *–Voted to start
#–Team captain

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Antetokounmpo Leads In First 2018 NBA All-Star Voting

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, who made his NBA All-Star Game debut last season, is the leading vote-getter in the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2018.

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NEW YORK, Jan. 4, 2018 – The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, who made his NBA All-Star Game debut last season, is the leading vote-getter in the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon.

Antetokounmpo received 863,416 votes to edge the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (856,080) by 7,336 votes for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and overall after the first 12 days of fan voting. In the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant leads with 767,402 votes and teammate Stephen Curry is next with 735,115 – a difference of 32,287 votes.

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. TNT will televise the midseason showcase at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, marking Turner Sports’ 33rd year of NBA All-Star coverage.

Joining Antetokounmpo and James, a 13-time All-Star, at the top of the Eastern Conference frontcourt are Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers (433,161) and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks (359,459). Four-time All-Star Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics leads among East guards with 802,834 votes, followed by three-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors (259,368) and Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers (251,886).

Durant, the reigning Finals MVP, is joined at the top of the West frontcourt by two members of the New Orleans Pelicans, 2017 NBA All-Star Game MVP Anthony Davis (393,000) and three-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins (356,340), followed by the Warriors’ Draymond Green (325,612). In voting for the West guards, Curry is followed by the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (602,040) and reigning Kia NBA MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder (438,469).

Under a new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, the team rosters will be chosen by two captains from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.

TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader at 6 p.m. ET, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. The team rosters will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.

For the second consecutive year, NBA players and basketball media will join fans in selecting the All-Star Game starters. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a media panel will account for 25 percent each.

Players and select media will be able to complete one full ballot, featuring three frontcourt players and two guards each from both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.

After all votes are tallied, players will be ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes. Each player’s score will be calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes. The five players (two guards and three frontcourt players) with the best score in each conference will be named NBA All-Star Game starters. Fan voting will serve as the tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score.

The next fan voting update will be shared on Thursday, Jan. 11. Voting will conclude on Monday, Jan. 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

See below for the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon.

NBA ALL-STAR VOTING 2018 PRESENTED BY VERIZON

Eastern Conference
Frontcourt
1 Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 863,416
2 LeBron James (CLE) 856,080
3 Joel Embiid (PHI) 433,161
4 Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 359,459
5 Kevin Love (CLE) 221,969
6 Al Horford (BOS) 120,016
7 Jayson Tatum (BOS) 98,586
8 Andre Drummond (DET) 85,374
9 Enes Kanter (NYK) 83,102
10 Dwight Howard (CHA) 57,730

Guards
1 Kyrie Irving (BOS) 802,834
2 DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 259,368
3 Victor Oladipo (IND) 251,886
4 Ben Simmons (PHI) 210,085
5 John Wall (WAS) 175,990
6 Dwyane Wade (CLE) 165,163
7 Isaiah Thomas (CLE) 87,680
8 Kyle Lowry (TOR) 85,070
9 Bradley Beal (WAS) 71,079
10 Jaylen Brown (BOS) 51,562

Western Conference
Frontcourt
1 Kevin Durant (GSW) 767,402
2 Anthony Davis (NOP) 393,000
3 DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) 356,340
4 Draymond Green (GSW) 325,612
5 Paul George (OKC) 291,495
6 Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 212,650
7 Carmelo Anthony (OKC) 194,239
8 Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) 188,240
9 Kyle Kuzma (LAL) 184,338
10 LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS) 153,599

Guards
1 Stephen Curry (GSW) 735,115
2 James Harden (HOU) 602,040
3 Russell Westbrook (OKC) 438,469
4 Klay Thompson (GSW) 359,442
5 Manu Ginobili (SAS) 231,460
6 Chris Paul (HOU) 174,343
7 Damian Lillard (POR) 148,622
8 Lonzo Ball (LAL) 120,817
9 Devin Booker (PHO) 91,562
10 Jimmy Butler (MIN) 88,009

How Fans Can Vote:

NBA.com voting page at NBA.com/vote: Fill out one full ballot per day (per day is defined as once every 24 hours) on NBA.com/vote from a desktop or mobile browser. Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters. During the five “2-for-1 Days,” (Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan 11, Jan. 12 and Jan 15) votes through this channel will be counted twice.

NBA App: Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and iOS. Fans can fill out one full ballot per day and select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters. During the five “2-for-1 Days,” votes through this channel will be counted twice.

Facebook: Post the player’s first and last name along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE on your personal Facebook account. Each post may include only one player’s name. Fans may post votes for 10 unique players per day from Dec. 25 – Jan. 15.

Twitter: Tweet, retweet or reply with an NBA player’s first and last name or Twitter handle, along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE. Each tweet may include only one player’s name or handle. Fans may vote for 10 unique players per day from Dec. 25- Jan. 15.

Google Search: Search “NBA Vote All-Star” or “NBA Vote Team Name” and use respective voting cards to select teams and then players. Fans may submit votes for 10 unique players per day from Dec. 25 – Jan. 15.

Amazon Alexa: To vote via Amazon Alexa, the user must have an Alexa-enabled device, and enable the “NBA All-Star” skill. To submit a vote, the user can open the skill with, “Alexa, open NBA All-Star,” and then request to vote for his or her player of choice. Voters can submit a maximum of one player name per request to Alexa. Users can submit votes for 10 unique players per Amazon account each day from Dec. 25 – Jan 15.

Sina Weibo and Tencent: To vote on Sina Weibo (weibo.com), the user must have a Sina Weibo account. To vote on Sina Weibo, voters must visit China.NBA.com/vote, and select up to 10 players. To vote on Tencent NBA Community, the user must have a QQ account. To vote via Tencent NBA Community, voters must visit China.NBA.com/vote, and select up to 10 players.

SOURCE: NBA Press Release

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