Anthony Davis headlines five Pelicans on All-Star ballot
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Other than casting a ceremonial vote Friday for one of his closest friends – Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez – New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson admits that he probably won’t participate in the NBA’s 2014 All-Star balloting. It’s not exactly the down-to-earth Anderson’s style to vote for himself, for example, or interfere in a process that’s implicitly intended for basketball fans.
“It’s sort of a fan thing – it would be a little weird to vote 10 times in a row for myself every day for the next week and a half,” Anderson said, jokingly talking as if he’s considered doing exactly that. “No, I’m just kidding. There’s no way I’m going to do that. I don’t think most players vote.”
If there’s one instance when the prolific three-point shooter might be willing to break his own rule, however, it could be to punch a ballot for teammate Anthony Davis. Davis, who leads the Pelicans in scoring (21.8 ppg), rebounding (11.2), blocked shots (3.1) – and several other unofficial categories such as dunks and "SportsCenter" highlights – is off to a 2013-14 start worthy of All-Star consideration.
“He’s an All-Star,” Anderson said matter-of-factly of the 20-year-old. “You saw (Davis’ potential) last year, but the consistency and the level he’s playing at (now) is All-Star-starting-caliber. He’s really making a huge impression around the league. We obviously know how good he is, but he’s made such an improvement. He’s putting up numbers and being super productive. Even on nights when it’s an off day for him, or not his best night of shooting, he’s still got 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds) or something like that. That’s really the mark of a great player. He deserves all of the accolades.”
Anderson and Davis joined New Orleans teammates Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans in rounding out a quintet of Pelicans who appear on the official 2014 NBA All-Star ballot presented by Sprint. Holiday is seeking his second straight All-Star appearance at the Feb. 16 midseason showcase game, which will be played in New Orleans Arena.
The Western Conference ballot is arranged into two separate positional groupings consisting of a total of 24 backcourt players and 36 front-court players. Fan voting will select two and three All-Star starters from the groups, respectively. After the starters are announced, voting by Western Conference coaches will determine the seven reserves.
In terms of fan voting, Davis faces stiff competition for one of the three front-court starting spots, due to the presence of ultra-popular players Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin, the top three West vote-getters in 2013 (Davis did not finish in the publicly announced top 15 of front-court voting). Based on Davis’ play through the first two weeks of 2013-14, Anderson believes the Kentucky product has made a strong case to garner votes.
“He’s playing out of his mind right now. He most definitely should be on that team,” Anderson said. “He’ll be there. Anything obviously can happen, but that’s where everybody’s expectations are.”