Kevin Durant is missing time because Jimmy Butler fell into his knee, and that — combined with some huge games from Giannis Antetokounmpo — appears to have altered at least some fans’ thinking.
Antetokounmpo has moved just past Durant to be the leading vote getter in the East in the final update on fan voting before the starters are announced next week. Here are the latest results.
LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo lead their respective conferences in the third fan returns of #NBAAllStar Voting presented by AT&T.
Fans account for 50% of the vote to decide All-Star starters. NBA players and a media panel account for 25% each. pic.twitter.com/nqNZqkeVJw
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) January 19, 2023
As of this vote, LeBron James and Antetokounmpo would be the captains and pick their team’s starters from a pool of Durant, Jayson Tatum, Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic.
It is possible Durant will retake the East lead from Antetokounmpo in the final days of fan voting, but it’s unlikely he will make up a little more than 132,000 votes when he is not playing. It’s the same situation for the tightly-contested third frontcourt starting spot in the East, where Embiid has fallen more than 200,000 votes behind Tatum and that’s a lot to make up in a couple of days.
There is one tight race in the West, where Zion is just 77,439 behind the Lakers’ Davis for the final starting slot in the fan vote. With both players being out (and having missed considerable time this season) the player and media votes could move the needle on this starting spot.
Fan All-Star voting continues at the NBA app and NBA.com through Jan. 21 (there is no voting via social media this year). All fan votes will count triple on Jan. 20.
As in recent years, the fan vote will count for 50% of the total for each player, with votes from NBA players counting for 25%, and votes from a panel of NBA media making up the other 25%. Fans, media and players vote for the starters — two guards, three frontcourt players in each conference — but the reserves for each team are chosen by a vote of the NBA coaches (or, more accurately, the NBA assistant coaches who couldn’t dodge the job when it was handed down the ladder).
The NBA All-Star Game occurs on Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City. Events from the weekend will be broadcast on TNT.