Fear Not: Nash Will Beat Out McGrady as All-Star Starter
But the margin, which stands at a mere 2,375 votes, certainly isn't insurmountable. So let me be the first to declare that, by the time the final results are revealed, Nash will have overtaken McGrady in votes, and will be in the starting lineup for the Western Conference at this year's All-Star game.
The reasons for Nash to be a starter, to the casual observer, might not be as obvious as the reasons that T-Mac should be sitting this one out. But Suns' head coach Alvin Gentry had no trouble sticking up for his guy before the Suns defeated the Rockets on Wednesday.
"I just have a problem with Tracy McGrady being ahead of [Nash] in the voting," Gentry said. "And it has nothing to do with Tracy, it's just ... there's something wrong."
Anytime you let the fans vote -- especially on a global level, where McGrady is seen as a teammate of China's Yao Ming above all else -- you're just asking for some skewed results. But the NBA has two weeks from now to make things right, and it would be fairly shocking if T-Mac is indeed voted in ahead of Nash as an All-Star starter.
A season ago, Amar'e Stoudemire trailed Carmelo Anthony for a starting spot at the forward position in these same returns, the final update before the starters were announced. And he did so by a much wider margin -- over 10,000 votes. But Stoudemire emerged as the starter, making a fairly large comeback in just a two-week span, largely thanks to the fact that, when it's actually decision time, the votes come in for the player who deserves it the most.
Anthony was injured last season leading up to the All-Star game. So rather than have him voted in over someone that clearly deserved it more, Stoudemire came back, finished with more votes, and was named the starter.
Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not giving the fans that much credit. There's a reason that the league waits two weeks between the final update they release to the public, and the time they announce the ultimate results. It's because a lot can happen in two weeks, and it's a long enough period for them to make any necessary "adjustments" that they feel would benefit the league, and the game, in the long run.
I'm not saying that the voting is fixed; clearly, with Allen Iverson poised to get a starting spot in the East this season, that's simply not the case. But McGrady represents something a little different.
The league is not cool with players having open disagreements with the organization that's paying their salary. And with McGrady and the Rockets, it's gotten to the point where the two are effectively divorced until the team can attempt to work out a lopsided trade that clearly will not be in its favor. McGrady as All-Star starter puts a spotlight on this situation, at a time when the league certainly wants to keep its mid-season showcase as positive as possible.
So to anyone fretting about the possibility of Tracy McGrady starting over Steve Nash in this year's All-Star game? Stop it. By the time the starters are announced two weeks from now, Nash will definitely have overtaken T-Mac for that starting guard spot in the West.
2010 NBA All-Star Balloting: Fourth Returns
Forwards: LeBron James (Cle) 1,769,287; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 1,467,365; Chris Bosh (Tor) 724,317; Paul Pierce (Bos) 366,234; Josh Smith (Atl) 334,338; Andre Iguodala (Phi) 228,343; Danny Granger (Ind) 213,371; Michael Beasley (Mia) 188,552; Rashard Lewis (Orl) 151,717; Hedo Turkoglu (Tor) 133,445; Caron Butler (Was) 110,003.
Guards: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,719,359; Allen Iverson (Phi) 930,713; Vince Carter (Orl) 745,581; Ray Allen (Bos) 510,885; Gilbert Arenas (Was) 445,473; Derrick Rose (Chi) 385,829; Joe Johnson (Atl) 329,100; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 269,566; Jose Calderon (Tor) 157,354; Mike Bibby (Atl) 155,078.
Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,681,897; Shaquille O'Neal (Cle) 609,486; Al Horford (Atl) 178,360; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 168,684; Brook Lopez (NJ) 154,362; Andrew Bogut (Mil) 143,545; Jermaine O'Neal (Mia) 111,065; Rasheed Wallace (Bos) 87,590; Kendrick Perkins (Bos) 56,598; Samuel Dalembert (Phi) 53,880; Tyson Chandler (Cha) 44,279; Brad Miller (Chi) 40,182.
Forwards: Carmelo Anthony (Den) 1,568,259; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 826,130; Tim Duncan (SA) 776,225; Pau Gasol (LAL) 754,070; Kevin Durant (OKC) 556,847; Trevor Ariza (Hou) 504,725; Luis Scola (Hou) 437,944; Shawn Marion (Dal) 295,310; Ron Artest (LAL) 266,554; Lamar Odom (LAL) 194,567; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 177,663.
Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,793,782; Tracy McGrady (Hou) 746,625; Steve Nash (Pho) 744,250; Chris Paul (NO) 701,417; Aaron Brooks (Hou) 443,369; Jason Kidd (Dal) 429,720; Chauncey Billups (Den) 310,281; Deron Williams (Utah) 285,185; Manu Ginobili (SA) 261,107; Brandon Roy (Por) 257,231; Tony Parker (SA) 248,951.
Centers: Amar'e Stoudemire (Pho) 1,304,470; Andrew Bynum (LAL) 743,182; Nene (Den) 261,295; Marc Gasol (Mem) 217,675; Antonio McDyess (SA) 157,346; Al Jefferson (Min) 146,773; Greg Oden (Por) 136,388; Marcus Camby (LAC) 121,981; Andris Biedrins (GS) 102,095; Mehmet Okur (Utah) 96,897; Emeka Okafor (NO) 94,685; Spencer Hawes (Sac) 31,767.