Latest All-Star voting has Amar’e Stoudemire, Derrick Rose on the bench


What is the matter with New York? And what about you, Chicago? Not enough passion and votes there to push the very deserving Amar’e Stoudemire and Derrick Rose into All-Star Game starting spots in the Eastern Conference?

Well, it’s not that simple, as they would have to unseat two popular Boston stars to get the start. The latest NBA All-Star fan voting returns are in and there are some close races in the East, with stars of big market teams just missing out right now.

At forward, the Eastern Conference vote leaders are Miami’s LeBron James (1,194,091) followed by Boston’s Kevin Garnett (850,687). The Knicks Amar’e Stoudemire is just behind Garnett with 826,628. That is quite a little race between rival cities, with Garnett and Stoudemire very close in the voting.

Over at Eastern Conference guard, the vote leaders are the Heat’s Dwyane Wade (1,167,649) and the Celtics Rajon Rondo (929,781). However, the Bulls Derrick Rose (917,753) is within striking distance and could overtake him if Chicago voters give him a strong push

At center in the East, Dwight Howard is running away with it. The fans vote in the starters for the game then a vote of the coaches rounds out the conference rosters. Stoudemire and Rose will make it, it’s only a question of if they start.

Out in the West, you still love Kobe Bryant. He remains the leading vote getter overall with 1,391,597, and he would be joined at the starting guard spot by Chris Paul (724,605). The starting Western Conference forwards as of right now are Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant (945,944), and Denver’s (for now) Carmelo Anthony (742,284), although the Lakers’ Pau Gasol is only about 40,000 votes back of Anthony.

At center in the West, Yao Ming continues to lead by a large margin, with the Lakers Andrew Bynum second. Bynum has looked better of late but only returned from injury a few weeks ago, while Yao is out for the season. It is possible the league slides a “forward” like Tim Duncan or Pau Gasol (both of them play a lot of center) into that center spot.

The All-Star Game takes place Feb. 20 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.