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Raptors Homestand Can Still Make Kyle Lowry An All-Star Starter

The Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry is already an All-Star in the minds of his fans, teammates, coaches and management, however, it has been a battle to get him enough votes to move from fourth in the early NBA All-Star balloting to third on January 8th.

The outspoken support of Head Coach Dwane Casey and even the unexpected backing of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not be enough to make up a current 100,000 vote shortfall unless Raptors fans take heed during the team’s six game homestand.

Among the guards in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards John Wall leads all players with 564,977 votes followed by Miami’s Dwyane Wade with 507,326. Lowry is in third place with 406,974, just ahead of Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving with 372,065.

The top two vote-getting guards will start in the All-Star game. All-Star balloting began on December 11th and wraps up on January 19th. This is the all-important home stretch to garner the votes required for this year’s starters in New York.

Wade’s HEAT have lost four of their past five games and are clinging to 8th place in the East. They are about to start a brutal five game Western Conference road trip with no easy games in sight. With the late game starts and anticipated losses, it is going to be a challenge for Wade to get noticed over the final 11 voting days. It will be a challenge for the HEAT to simply remain in the playoff picture over this period.

Lowry’s Raptors have just returned from their own brutal Western Conference road trip in which the team went 2-3 to slip out of first place in the East. However, they remain 8.5 games ahead of Brooklyn in the Atlantic Division and tied with Chicago for second in the East. Between now and January 18th, the Raptors play six games at home against teams they should be favored to defeat.

If the Raptors home sellout streak continues, the 19,800 fans inside the Air Canada Centre and the anticipated large local television audience that comes with prime time viewing for a winning team should ensure a lot of potential All-Star votes for Lowry will be tallied by the time voting is finished.

Fans can vote by twitter, facebook, instagram, text message and at nba.com

Twitter: Tweet the player’s first and last name and the hashtag #NBABallot.

Facebook: Post a status in your personal account that includes player’s first and last name and the hashtag #NBABallot.

Instagram: Post a photo using #NBABallot and the player’s first and last name in the caption.

Texting: Text the player’s last name to 6-9-6-2-2 (“MYNBA”) on any wireless device. Message and data rates may apply.

Vote online: At allstarballot.nba.com.

Apps: NBA fans can vote through the NBA Game Time and NBA Game Time from Sprint applications, available on Android and iOS.

In this popularity contest, the phrase ‘Vote Early and Often’ applies. Each method of voting is restricted to once per day, so if Toronto fans want their player to start in the All-Star game, they need to get busy.  It isn’t hard to vote by multiple methods quickly using a smart phone.

The possibility of Lowry getting the start in New York at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 is real, but it is up to the Raptors fans to make it happen.

 

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

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Ujiri has made it perfectly clear and just in case someone wasn’t listening, get busy and vote Kyle Lowry to start for the NBA’s Eastern Conference All-Star team. Lowry has carried this team on his shoulders since DeMar DeRozan was injured and can lay claim to being the best point guard in franchise history. He’s earned the fans’ support and having a player voted to the All-Star team is one of this franchise’s biggest wishes.