The latest round of NBA All-Star voting results are in, and they saw Los Angeles Lakers rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma both moved up in the results in the Western Conference among guards and forwards, respectively.
After landing in eighth among Western Conference guards in the first returns, Lakers fans have pushed Ball up to the seventh spot with 294,197 total votes.
The continuing stellar play and enthusiasm within the fan base for Kuzma has seen Los Angeles’ other heavily-hyped rookie rise in the rankings as well. Kuzma jumped from the ninth spot in the Western Conference frontcourt ballot to the eighth spot with 325,903 votes.
Stephen Curry (1,369,658), James Harden (978,540) and Russell Westbrook (791,332) make up the top-three guards in voting in the West, while Kevin Durant (1,326,059), Anthony Davis (664,687) and Draymond Green (616,730) make up the top-three fowards in voting.
The NBA posted the full top 10 for both the frontcourt and guards on Twitter:
The Second #NBAAllStar Voting Returns for Western Conference players!
— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) January 11, 2018
Voting for the All-Star game has changed this season. Even in the unlikely event that support from Lakers fans pushes Kuzma and Ball into the top two or top three in their respective fields, fans aren’t solely responsible for determining the game’s starters this year.
In the past, fans would pick the game’s starters while coaches picked the reserves. But this season, fan votes only count for 50 percent of the total vote for the starters. Players get 25 percent of the vote, and the media makes up the other 25 percent.
This change might lessen the chance that the Lakers can use the power of the second-largest market in the NBA to get their players into the game, but with All-Star selections helping determine bonuses in players’ contracts and fans nearly voting Zaza Pachulia into the game last year, the shift also makes sense.
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