The NBA All-Star second update of fan voting for the 2017 All-Star Game has been released showing why, once again, you can get some pretty strange results when a league puts its faith in social media and its fans.
The Bulls Dwyane Wade, 19th in Eastern Conference scoring at 18.7 points per game on a 9th place team, leads the Raptors DeMar DeRozan, 1st in Eastern Conference scoring at 28.2 points per game on a 2nd place team, by over 60,000 votes on January 12th. Maybe fans think they’re voting for the Wade of 2008-09 when he led the East in scoring or the Wade on those Heat teams that went to the NBA Finals in recent years? They must be confused. There are a lot of guards better than the 35-year-old that Wade is now. Isaiah Thomas, tied for the lead in scoring with DeRozan, is over 110,000 votes behind the former star. Why not just put M.J. on the ballot if voting for nostalgia is the way to go?
It’s great to get behind “your guy,” but Zaza Pachulia is averaging 5.5 points in 18.4 minutes on the Warriors and by rights, shouldn’t even show up in the top-10. Zaza has 823,376 votes and leads an actual star center, Marc Gasol, by over 650,000 votes. This isn’t funny.
Wade’s lead over DeRozan is not insurmountable, if the Raptors fans make a concerted effort. They managed to overcome a deficit of about twice that size to get Kyle Lowry voted in last year.
It seems very unlikely Pachulia will finish out of the top three in fan voting for the Western Conference frontcourt. It will be up to the players and the media panel, who combined hold 50 percent of the vote this year, to make sure an actual star player represents the West in the starting unit.