The first all-star balloting returns are in, and there’s plenty of good news for the Mavs. Here are the Western Conference tallies by position:
|Steve Nash||272, 135|
|Chris Paul||248, 049|
|Jason Kidd||207, 247|
|Jason Terry||131, 422|
Vote counts via NBA.com.
Shawn Marion actually ranks 7th among forwards, not that it matters all that much. But the strong showings by Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and Jason Terry are indicative of not only the Mavs’ solid start, but the nice voting bump given to players of the hometown team. Not that Dirk and Kidd don’t deserve their respective places in the polls, but the precedent just isn’t there to expect such fan support for Terry or Marion.
Tracy McGrady, who hasn’t played a NBA game since the early 1800s, is the big surprise. And the good news is that supposing the voters come to their senses (as they typically do by the second or third returns), Jason Kidd has a legit shot at a reserve spot. Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul figure to be the starters when all is said and done, and Steve Nash is well-deserving of a reserve selection. But aside from those three, which guard is more deserving than Kidd? The other elite guards of the West have struggled in one way or another, and though there’s a solid list of candidates (Ginobili, Williams, Roy, Parker), there’s no clear front-runner. Kidd’s Dallas affiliation would also win him a bit of favor as a reserve selection, as the coaches tend to do the hometown players a solid (a la David West in New Orleans). If that’s the case, it would be the first time the Mavs have had two players in the All-Star Game since 2007, when Josh Howard was chosen by the coaches.