In less than 24 hours, the final returns will be in and the NBA will announce the 2013 All-Star Game starters. Although most positions appear to be decided, the race for the final Western Conference guard slot is a tight race.
As of the third voting returns, Lin was just 46,269 votes behind Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (via NBA.com). This led to speculation that Lin could in fact attend All-Star weekend when it transpires in Houston.
So what is the case for and against Lin as an All-Star?
For one, the weekend festivities are being held in Houston. Lin plays for the Rockets and would draw a great deal of fans out to watch their hometown star.
Like it or not, All-Star weekend is all about the fans.
Furthermore, Lin has posted a relatively well-balanced stat line this season. Even if they aren't All-Star numbers, he's been impressive enough to at least warrant consideration.
Lin is currently averaging 12.1 points, 6.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.
Again, these aren't the most impressive numbers. As we've come to learn, however, the hype about Lin is about much more than just the statistics he posts.
As the unforgettable period known as Linsanity displayed, Lin can shock the world in an endless variety of ways.
Expanding the Market in 2012
During the 2011-12 NBA regular season, no star was bigger than Jeremy Lin.
Lin captivated an international crowd and orchestrated a period of time which the NBA will never forget. "Linsanity" not only re-created the draw of the New York Knicks, but it led to an expanded market for the league.
For that reason, he deserves a reward. If his hefty offseason contract doesn't constitute as such, perhaps an All-Star appearance will.
The numbers he posted in that time certainly qualify.
During Linsanity, Lin averaged 18.5 points, 7.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. The memorable streak lasted 26 games, which some have labeled as too minuscule.
By comparison, Carmelo Anthony missed 10 of the Knicks' first 35 games in 2011-12. He averaged 21.4 points on 39.7 percent shooting and ended up starting in the 2012 All-Star Game.
Those are numbers, folks. Not opinion.
The point is, Lin did enough in 2012 to warrant the hype he received. He was an exciting leader of a New York City franchise and never once ceased to amaze us.
If he makes it to the All-Star Game, there is a reason why.
Against the Competition
Chris Paul is presently averaging 16.8 points, 9.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. He's also leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a record of 30-9.
Next in line is Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Not only is he helping to lead OKC to a record of 30-8, but RWB is averaging 22.2 points, 8.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
Tony Parker is sitting at 19.5 points and 7.1 assists while leading the San Antonio Spurs to 29-11.
In other words, Lin doesn't have the numbers that the competition is presently posting. Whether we want to admit it or not, that is often the deciding factor when it comes right down to it.
Lin may have turned his season around, but there is reason to believe he is not an All-Star.
Lin is currently averaging 12.1 points, 6.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. He's also the second-best player on a team that is just three games above .500.
The reasons are there for Lin to make it or miss out. How will the voters and coaches choose?
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