PAUL SLIPS TO THIRD IN WEST BACKCOURT IN LATEST BALLOTING RETURNS
In the third and final balloting returns for NBA All-Star 2014, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are in jeopardy of not being elected starters for the first time since they joined forces prior to the 2011-12 season.
Griffin holds a tenuous lead over Kevin Love for the third frontcourt spot in the Western Conference, receiving 500,964 votes to Love’s 483,031. Griffin, though, remains less than 9,000 votes from Houston’s Dwight Howard for No. 2, making him appear far safer to remain an elected starter than the league’s best point guard.
Paul, in the returns released by the league Thursday morning, has been jumped by Golden State’s Stephen Curry for the second starting backcourt spot. Kobe Bryant, who has missed all but six games this season due to injury, has a firm lead at the position with 844,538. Paul had been in the second slot throughout the voting process until Thursday.
Balloting concludes on Monday, Jan. 20, and starters will be announced live on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 23, during a special one-hour edition of Inside the NBA at 4 p.m. PT. The special will air prior to TNT’s exclusive doubleheader featuring the Los Angeles Lakers at the Miami Heat (5 p.m. PT) and the Denver Nuggets at the Portland Trail Blazers (7:30 p.m. PT). Reserves will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 30, also on TNT.
Paul’s nearly 70,000-vote advantage from the first returns on Dec. 12 has turned into a 26,000-vote deficit. Paul (651,073 votes) has missed the past four games with a shoulder injury but had played at an MVP level through the season’s first two months. He is the only player in the league averaging double figures in assists, leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio and is third in steals. Paul has also outdueled Curry (677,372 votes) in their two head-to-head matchups.
On Oct. 31, in the Clippers’ season opener, Paul scored a game-high 42 points, his most as a member of the Clippers, while Curry had 38 in Golden State’s loss. Two months later, when the teams squared off on Christmas, Paul held Curry to 5-for-17 shooting and 15 points. Paul had26 points and 11 assists with longer armed defenders like Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson guarding him while Curry played off the ball.
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In addition to Paul and Griffin, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and DeAndre Jordan, who leads the NBA in rebounding and field goal percentage, are also representing the Clippers on the ballot. Redick, Crawford and Jordan did not earn enough votes to appear in the top 10 or 15 of their respective positional categories.
NBA fans can vote via social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, and Sina Weibo and Tencent Microblog in China. Twitter voting allows fans to tweet a vote for 10 unique players each day throughout the All-Star balloting period. The tweet must include the player’s first and last name, along with hash tag #NBABallot. Facebook voting allows fans to comment on official league, team, or international NBA All-Star Facebook pages by commenting below the post with #NBABallot and the player’s first and last name. Voters can select 10 unique players per day.
The ballot can also be accessed through the NBA Game Time and NBA Game Time from Sprint applications, available on Android and iOS. Fans can fill out one full ballot per day, through the NBA Game Time and NBA Game Time from Sprint application, the most comprehensive app in the marketplace for NBA fans.
There are several other ways fans can cast their votes as part of this season’s all-digital program including: in 11 languages on NBA.com/asb, through SMS voting by texting the player's last name to 6-9-6-2-2 ("MYNBA") or by visiting NBA.com/asb on any wireless device. Fans can vote for 10 different players per day, per phone number, via SMS voting by sending 10 separate SMS messages, each one with a different player's last name. Message and data rates may apply. Voters can fill out one full ballot per day on NBA.com/asb from a desktop or mobile browser.
NBA ALL-STAR 2014 BALLOTING PRESENTED BY SPRINT
1. Kevin Durant (OKC) 1,054,209
|1. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 844,538
2. Stephen Curry (GS) 677,372
3. Chris Paul (LAC) 651,073
4. Jeremy Lin (Hou) 471,980
5. James Harden (Hou) 338,788
6. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 260,499
7. Tony Parker (SA) 195,328
8. Damian Lillard (Por) 162,363
9. Klay Thompson (GS) 108,404
10. Ricky Rubio (Min) 97,265
1. LeBron James (Mia) 1,076,063
|1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 718,109
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 652,522
3. Derrick Rose (Chi) 323,099
4. John Wall (Was) 278,516
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 190,086
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 133,448
7. Deron Williams (BKN) 95,309
8. George Hill (Ind) 89,428
9. Lance Stephenson (Ind) 77,364
10. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 68,985