Full All-Star Voting Starts 8 a.m. Christmas Day

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

Fan voting to determine starters for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game started in earnest last week, with the league taking submissions for the first few days exclusively on NBA.com and through the league’s mobile app.

Since December 21, fans have been able to submit one ballot with up to 10 players once per day on both NBA.com/vote and on the NBA app, so hopefully you’ve already in the habit of going to both platforms to vote for your favorite Trail Blazers. Fan vote makes up 50 percent of the vote total, with players and media making up the other 50 percent, so consider doing your part

But starting at 8 a.m. on Christmas day, you’ll have even more ways to submit your all-star starter votes. But some of the voting methods have changed from last year, so let’s review the myriad of options in order to make sure your votes are tabulated.

To vote via Facebook, you will need to post a status update from your personal account with the hashtag #NBAVote and the first and last name of the player you want to see as a starter (perhaps Damian Lillard!). You can only vote for one player per post, though you can vote up to 10 times a day by posting new status updates. However, you can only vote for the same player once per day. And unlike in years past, leaving comments on a post, even when using the #NBAVote hashtag, does not count as a vote. It’s status updates or nothing on Facebook.

The process is similar for voting via Twitter. Fans can tweet the Twitter handle (say, @Dame_Lillard for instance) or the players’ first and last name  with the designated #NBAVote hashtag to submit their vote. There is a limit of one player per tweet, so don’t bother trying to fill up all 280 characters with multiple player names. And like on Facebook, you can vote up to 10 times a day, though you can only vote for a player once per day. You can also retweet other accounts using the #NBAVote hashtag to submit a vote by replying to a tweet using the a players’ Twitter account or first and last name. But again, you can only vote for one player per reply or retweet.

While there have been changes to the previous voting methods in order to somewhat preserve the integrity of the process, there are also two new methods for voting this season outside of going to NBA.com or logging on to your various social media accounts.

There’s voting via Google Search, which can be accomplished by typing in “NBA All-Star Vote,” :NBA Vote” or something close to that in the ubiquitous search engine. From there, you’ll be prompted to select a team and then whatever player you’d like to vote for by clicking the player’s image and then selecting “Vote” to make your selection. Again, you can only submit one vote per player per day, though you can vote up to 10 times per day.

And if you’re really on the cutting edge, you can submit votes via Amazon Alexa, the voice-activated personal assistant. After enabling the “NBA All-Star” skill on your Alexa device (which only has to be done the first time), submit your vote by telling your Alexa to “ask NBA All-Star to vote for” followed by the first and last name of the player you’d like to vote for. And — surprise! — you can only vote for a player once per day using this method, though you can vote for up to 10 players per user per day.

So now you know how to vote for NBA All-Star starters, but now the question is: Whom should you vote for? While you are free to submit your votes for whomever you see fit, if you’re reading this blog, you’re most likely a Trail Blazers fan, so consider throwing your votes behind your favorite denizens of Rip City.

Of course, being the small market that we are, getting players into the All-Star Game, let alone as starters, has not been easy. While there’s no harm in voting for all of your favorite Trail Blazers, the fact is that of the 14 players on the roster, only Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have any chance of making the Western Conference All-Star roster.

McCollum, the winner of the 2016 Most Improved Player Award, is averaging 20.7 points, fifth among shooting guards, on 44 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from three, 4.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists in 1.0 steals in 36.6 minutes per game, which ranks seventh in the NBA.

The case for Lillard is even stronger. The two-time All-Star is one of four players averaging at least 25 points, six assists and five rebounds this season, with the other three being James Harden, LeBron James and Stephen Curry, They’re all sure to make the All-Star roster in their respective conferences, there’s no reason the same shouldn’t be said for Lillard.

He’s fourth in minutes, seventh in free throw percentage, eighth in scoring and 10th in three-pointers made per game. He’s getting it done when it matters the most — he’s fourth in clutch points with 82 this season and is a perfect 24-of-24 from the free throw line in the clutch — and his defense, which is what people have pointed to in the past when discussing why he’s been passed over the last two seasons, has improved considerably. The Trail Blazers’ performance this season as a team has been inconsistent, but Lillard’s play has been anything but.

So as you’re spending time with your family either on Christmas day or at any time in the next few weeks, consider taking a few moments to gather around the fire submit a few All-Star votes.