The question on every Cavalier fan’s mind is whether or not their veteran star and loveable point guard will receive an invite to Houston for the 2012-13 NBA All-Star Game. Ever since Anderson Varejao’s dominating stretch and Kyrie Irving’s incredible leadership and offensive ability in just his first season went noticed, voters gave the two Wine and Gold teammates the appreciation they deserve. The first round of the leaders in the All-Star voting were announced on Thursday, and the two aforementioned Cavaliers were ranked within the top 15 frontcourt players and 10 backcourt members.
Just to show you how fan-biased and messed up All-Star voting is, Andrew Bynum comes in at nine in the frontcourt rankings without even stepping on the court and Dwyane Wade, who is leading in backcourt voting, is having arguably the worst season of his 10-year career.
But in the front of the three through five position voting are your regular suspects in LeBron James (first), Carmelo Anthony (second) and Paul Pierce (sixth). LeBron leads all NBA players in voting with 641,348 combined votes. Out very own Anderson Varejao, who is currently averaging 14.3 points, 14.8 rebounds (good for first in the NBA by 2.0 boards) and ranks 15th in the league in PER (Player Efficiency Rating), is ranked 12th out of the 15 ranked frontcourt members. 12 players get selected to the big game, so right now Andy’s chances of earning his first All-Star selection are slim.
Irving, who has played two games since being back from his injury, is currently ranked fourth in backcourt voting. The voting for this category is more agreeable than that of the frontcourt, even with Wade leading the way with 430,925 votes. Rajon Rondo (second) and Deron Williams (third) are the only other guards that rank above the reigning Rookie of the Year. With two point guards already being ahead of Kyrie in the voting and three ones making it to the game for the Eastern Conference last season, there is a good chance of the Clevelander making the squad. If not we will see him play in the Rookie-Sophomore event.
Irving is currently averaging 22.2 points, 5.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 40.0 percent from three and 80.6 percent from the free throw line in his 12 games of action. He has clocked in around 35 minutes per game, something that many expected from the surprising young man. If Irving doesn’t finish in the top 12 in All-Star voting, which I think is very unlikely, we will still get a chance to see him play on All-Star weekend in the game he dominated last season.
Varejao finished with 57,336 votes, which was good for 17th overall out of the 25 players that the NBA released statistics for. Irving tallied an impressive 155,989 votes, putting him eighth overall in the Eastern Conference.
Despite his missed time, Kyrie deserves an All-Star nod, and I even think Andy deserves way more attention than what he is receiving right now. He may be out of his 15-15 stat line habit, but he’s still good for a nightly double-double. He’s one of the most consistent big men in the league, and he’s outrebounding the whole NBA right now. As the voting gets closer to its end date (January 14, 2013), we will see how good of a chance that our Wine and Gold standouts have.