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The first round of NBA All-Star voting is in and for the most part it’s exactly what you would expect. Lebron James and Kevin Durant lead their respective conferences in voting, with guys like Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook following closely behind. One name fans definitely didn’t expect to see is Warriors center, Zaza Pachulia, coming in right behind Durant with the second most votes among all frontcourt players in the west.


While All-Star weekend is all about the fans, these early returns on the votes show exactly why they have no place in picking the starers for the game. Pachulia literally has more votes than Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis, both of whom are on a level 10 times higher than him and he even has double the votes of players like Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins.

Hopefully as the voting continues things will right themselves but Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post explained that this is why the fan vote lost some power this season, only totaling for 50% of the vote for the starters, rather than the usual 100%.

This result is exactly why the rules were changed this year — changes that virtually ensure that, no matter how many votes Pachulia picks up from the fans, he has no chance of being an All-Star this season.

Pachulia seems like a near certainty to finish among the top three fan vote-getters at this point — in fact, he had the eighth-most votes overall, trailing only Durant, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Giannis Antetokounmpo. But because Pachulia, who currently is averaging 5.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game as Golden State’s starting center, will almost certainly get little to no support among media members or fellow players, his weighted average has little chance of being anywhere near good enough to crack into the West’s starting five in New Orleans next month.

In the eastern conference, I’m not a fan of Joel Embiid having more votes than guys like Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler but since he is a fan favorite it’s not too surprising. Again, when the votes are closed this list will look different combined with the coaches and players votes but guys around the league can’t be happy with Pachulia sitting where he currently does.

Bleacher Report