The second returns for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game ballot have been released and your Toronto Raptors need your help. DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas are all eligible to become starters, but none of them are close to doing so. That's where you come into play. You need to vote as often as possible and get these guys into the All-Star Game.
DeMar DeRozan is averaging 21.0 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game and 1.1 steals per game. He currently ranks 16th in the NBA in scoring and has really developed into one of the better shooting guards in the Eastern Conference. All of his stats are career highs and he looks like he is only going to get better. DeRozan has been a big reason why the Raptors are sitting first place in the Atlantic Division.
Kyle Lowry is averaging 15.2 points per game, 7.0 assists per game, 3.9 rebounds per game, and 1.8 steals per game. His point totals, assist totals and steal totals are all career highs. Lowry ranks 10th in the NBA in assists, fourth among Eastern Conference players. He is playing the best basketball of his career right now and despite trade rumours, has been the catalyst for the Raptors thus far.
Jonas Valanciunas is averaging 10.2 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, and 1.1 blocks per game. Despite his percentages being down, Valanciunas is developing himself into a reliable post player for the Raptors. At only 21 years old and in his second year in the league, Valanciunas is already becoming one of the better centers in the Eastern Conference.
The balloting this year has been categorized into backcourt (point guards, shooting guards) and frontcourt (small forward, power forward, center), eliminating the position battle.
Here is what the current votes look like for the Eastern Conference:
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 565,455
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 524,000
3. Derrick Rose (Chi) 299,950
4. John Wall (Was) 210,988
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 143,714
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 111,335
7. Deron Williams (BKN) 74,047
8. George Hill (Ind) 66,030
9. Lance Stephenson (Ind) 50,444
10. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 48,744
1. LeBron James (Mia) 854,105
2. Paul George (Ind) 712,808
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 580,795
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 304,829
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 222,861
6. Kevin Garnett (BKN) 137,520
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 101,308
8. Andre Drummond (Det) 91,132
9. Jeff Green (Bos) 78,693
10. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 77,496
11. Luol Deng (Chi) 73,418
12. Carlos Boozer (Chi) 64,861
13. Paul Pierce (BKN) 60,541
14. Brook Lopez (BKN) 52,907
15. Josh Smith (Det) 46,836
As you can see, only DeMar DeRozan is on the list for backcourt players, with Kyle Lowry nowhere to be seen. Jonas Valanciunas doesn't even crack the top 15 of frontcourt players. Players like Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams are ahead of your Raptors and they have barely played this season (if at all). The city of Toronto is the fourth largest city by population in North America. If everyone voted just once for each player, they would skyrocket to the top of their respected categories.
You can cast your vote by going to allstarballot.nba.com or on social media. Just use the hashtag #NBABallot along with the full name (first and last name) of the player you want to vote for. Example: DeMar DeRozan #NBABallot.
Balloting ends on January 20, 2013 and the starters for the game will be announced on January 23, 2013.
The 2014 NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 16, 2014 in New Orleans.
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