There are four Golden State Warriors on the 2013 NBA All-Star Game ballot, and for the first time in 16 years since Latrell Sprewell, the Bay Area might have a representative in a game that showcases the league's best players.
To put that in perspective, the last time the Warriors had an All-Star, Kobe Bryant was a rookie, Bill Clinton didn't cheat on his wife, Notorious B.I.G. was alive and the team wasn't even playing in Oakland.
It's also unlikely that Golden State Warriors fans will do that of their neighbor San Francisco Giants fans, who love to ballot stuff. Whatever helps win a World Series, right?
The returns of the first ballot do not bode well for the Warriors. Neither David Lee, Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut or Klay Thompson show up on the ballot. Fans get to vote in a total of five players for each conference—so more likely than not, no Warriors will get voted in as a starter.
Fans get to vote for three frontcourt players and two guards, and current projections have Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul as starters. With Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kevin Love as near locks, there are about four spots open for everyone else.
Without a true superstar on the team, they'll have to squeeze in by reserve spots picked by the coaches. Let's not forget to mention that the Warriors just finished off a 6-1 road trip where they beat the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks. They now sit in the fifth seed in the Western Conference and only two back in the loss column to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Winning certainly helps when coaches pick the last couple spots on the roster.
In order to gauge these odds, we have to look at the position the player plays, team needs, coaches' preference and player status. Ask Tim Duncan how that worked out for him last year.
Warning: Odds are arbitrary and don't represent actual odds. So don't go gambling away, you degenerates.
Andrew Bogut: 800-1
Sounds fair. That's about as many times as I've lamented about his injury and how good the Warriors would be if they actually had Bogut healthy and manning the middle of the defense. Of course, the Dubs have been unbelievable rebounding with the improved play of David Lee (more on that later) and underrated Carl Landry. But how long will it last?
But if Freddy Sanchez can almost get in...never mind.
Klay Thompson: 168-1
Or the amount of threes Klay has taken this season.
After a solid rookie season, Klay has struggled through the earlier parts of this season, hitting rockbottom when he forgot to foul Danilo Gallinari on a dunk and missed two free throws in a loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Since then, he has shot a lot better while distributing the ball at a higher clip to get his teammates involved. It's probably unlikely that he even sniffs the All-Star Game with players like Tony Parker, Rudy Gay, Serge Ibaka and maybe even Jeremy Lin over him. Fan votes, everyone!
David Lee: 20-1
David Lee is a bit of an easy player to pick on over the years because of his perceived empty stats and lack of any semblance of defense.
However, he has been nothing short of sensational on offense, scoring more than 20 points and grabbing more than 10 boards in seven straight games. He also owns a PER of 20.14, which is 21st in the NBA, ahead of players like Ibaka and Aldridge.
Lee is also a -0.2% rebounder on the court this year, whereas he was -2% in 2010. It isn't just the rebounding, as Lee has always been a prolific offensive rebounder. It's the way that he has battled on defensive rotations that has helped the Warriors to a revamped defense that has the Warriors on its way to a 16-8 start.
David Lee has actually made the All-Star Game before as a New York Knick, but it is tough seeing him leapfrog other big men in the Western Conference, like the Gasol brothers, Ibaka and even Tim Duncan, who are all having another great season.
Ultimately, it'll be tough to see Lee make it over other accomplished players despite his improved play.
Stephen Curry: 10-1
The best player on the Golden State Warriors has the best chance to represent them in Houston this February.
Whereas pundits still argue whether he is a better fit as a point guard or shooting guard, Curry has thrown himself into the conversation for top 10 guards in the NBA. According to John Hollinger, Curry is ranked sixth amongst point guards with an 18.71 PER. With Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic also in the top five, it's safe to say Curry has been one of the better players in all of the NBA this season and holds a legitimate chance at being selected.
Take a guess at who are the three players averaging more than 19 points, six assists and four rebounds per game. The first two probably come as no surprise, as they are LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, but the third player is Stephen Curry.
That's everything Curry can take care of. As for the rest of the Western Conference guards, it may come down to whether Jeremy Lin gets in because of fan votes. Tony Parker may also be his biggest competition, who is also having a superb season. There is a chance, albeit an outside one.
But even if he doesn't, Warriors fans may not care. More time to keep Curry off that troublesome ankle? Sounds pretty good.
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