Dwight Howard continues to lead the Eastern Conference in All-Star votes and almost assuredly will be starting in the All-Star Game once again — not that he has much competition at center. Howard is second in the NBA behind Kobe Bryant after the second returns of NBA All-Star voting was released Thursday.
Howard has nearly amassed one million votes and is 600,000 votes ahead of Boston’s Shaquille O’Neal for the starting center spot. Dwight is nearly 200,000 votes clear of Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade for the overall lead.
Kobe Bryant remains the overall leader with nearly 1.2 million votes.
If the All-Star Game were today, James, Wade, Boston’s Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo would join Howard as the East’s starters. Bryant, New Orleans’ Chris Paul, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Denver’s Carmelo Anthony and Houston’s Yao Ming would be the West’s lineup.
Paper balloting will continue until Jan. 17 and online or text voting will continue until Jan. 23. All-Star Weekend will take place Feb. 18-20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The starters will be announced live on TNT during its broadcast on Jan. 27.
A couple comments after the first returns brought up that there were very few other Magic players among the top 10 in All-Star voting. While it is largely a popularity contest, it does say something. Gilbert Arenas has totaled nearly 145,000 votes and is sixth among East guards. Jameer Nelson is not among the top 10. For those that are curious, Vince Carter has 185,000 votes and is ninth in the West.