Initial NBA All-Star voting shortchanges Celtics stars
At the halfway point of the 2022-23 NBA season, the Celtics have the best record in the league at 26-12. They’ve been a wagon to this point, with superstars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way.
Yet, it appears as though all of that isn’t enough for fans around the NBA. On Thursday afternoon, the league released the results of the initial round of fan All-Star voting. As things stand now, the Celtics would have no starters in this year’s All-Star game.
That’s right, no starters. None.
LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead their respective conferences in the first 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.
Both Tatum and Brown currently sit in fourth place at their respective positions. Tatum has 2,178,330 votes, less than 100,000 behind Sixers center Joel Embiid in the Eastern Conference Frontcourt category. Kevin Durant leads that group with just over 3,000,000 votes, with Giannis Antetokounmpo in second place.
Brown is counted as a guard according to the release from the league. He has 1,032,522 votes, trailing Kyrie Irving – the only guard with over 2,000,000 votes, Donovan Mitchell, and James Harden in that order.
After Tatum and Brown, there is a significant drop off at both positions. Jimmy Butler is in fifth place among East forwards with 477,008 votes, and Trae Young is the fifth-place guard with 791,354 votes.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 07: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics high fives Jaylen Brown #7 during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on December 07, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
This all doesn’t mean that Tatum and/or Brown won’t end up starting this year’s All-Star Game though. This is just the first round of fan voting, with the next update coming on Jan. 12. Plus, fan votes make up 50 percent of the decision as to who starts the All-Star game, with player vote and media vote each making up 25 percent as well.
If Celtics fans want to try to pump up Tatum and Browns’ numbers, they can do so here. No other Celtics players are in the top 10 at either position.
So far this season Tatum is averaging 30.8 points per game, which is a notable improvement from his career-best 26.9 points per game last year. Tatum currently ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring, and third in the East. He’s shooting 47.4 percent from the floor, which has him on pace for his most efficient shooting season since his rookie year. Aside from the scoring, he’s averaging 8.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.
Dec 16, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) looks for an opening against Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) in the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Brown is also on pace to have a career year, averaging 27.2 points per game.He’s also having his best year shooting, at 49.8 percent from the field. His 7.1 rebounds is also on pace to be a career high, and he’s adding 3.3 assists per game as well.
This year’s NBA All-Star Game will take place in Utah on Feb. 19. Starters will be announced on Jan. 26, with the remaining rosters announced on Feb. 2.
The NBA is still using a draft format for the teams instead of playing East vs. West. The top vote-getter in each conference will be named a captain, and then those two players will draft their teams at some point between the roster announcement and the game. That date has yet to be determined.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.