James Harden and Chris Paul will play in the 2018 All-Star Game. As for Clint Capela and Eric Gordon, they probably won’t get enough votes.
The NBA released their second All-Star balloting update on Thursday, and things are looking up for Houston’s dynamic duo. James Harden is second in votes among guards in the Western Conference, only trailing Stephen Curry. Curry is leading the Western Conference in votes, just edging out his superstar teammate Kevin Durant.
Chris Paul is sixth in votes among Western Conference guards. Paul is surprisingly behind Klay Thompson, and is even more surprisingly behind Manu Ginobili. At 40 years old, Ginobili is still performing at a high level for his age, but he isn’t an All-Star caliber player anymore.
The fans tend to vote for who they like instead of for the players that actually deserve a spot on the roster. So unfortunately, the fan portion of the voting is more of a popularity contest than anything else. Although, the coaches and media also have a say on who deserves to be in the All-Star Game, and they’re unlikely to give any votes to Ginobili.
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The Rockets organization has also been pushing for fans to vote in Clint Capela and Eric Gordon, but they didn’t get enough votes to rank in the update. Outside of Golden State’s Big Four, it is highly unlikely that any other team will send four players to the All-Star Game.
However, a good case could be made for Clint Capela, who is averaging career highs in points (14.2), rebounds (11.1), blocks (1.8) and is leading the NBA in field goal percentage (66.9). Capela is also among the league leaders in advanced metrics like player efficiency rating and even offensive rating, and he’s doing all of this in just 26 minutes per game.
LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are have the most votes in the Eastern Conference, and Kyrie Irving is the leading vote-getter among Eastern Conference guards. Joel Embiid, Kristaps Porzingis, Ben Simmons and Victor Oladipo have a good shot at making the All-Star Game for the first time in their careers.