Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons' Twitter campaigns to make the all-star game seem to be off to a good start, considering their position among Eastern Conference players after the National Basketball Association all-star voting first returns were released today.
Antetokounmpo received 863,416 votes to edge James (856,080) by almost 7,500 votes for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and overall after the first 12 days of balloting. Kevin Durant received the most votes in the Western Conference, and among front court players, with 767,402 votes, while Stephen Curry leads the guards in the west with 735,115.
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Irving and Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan are the leading guards in their conference with the Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo in third. Russell Westbrook is third among backcourt players with 438,469 votes, Paul George is fifth in the frontcourt with 291,495 votes, and Carmelo Anthony rings in at number seven in the frontcourt with 194,239 votes. West matchup, the player who receives the most votes from each conference will serve as a team captain for the game. Golden State's Draymond Green (325,612) was fourth.
The All-Star starters - along with the two team captains - will be revealed on January 18.
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The 67th All-Star Game will be played February 18 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Here are the total votes for each conference. Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.
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This year's NBA All-Star voting, though, has shown that the generation beyond that may be foremost in the minds of fans. The second ballot update will be shared next Thursday. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a media panel will account for 25 percent each. The NBA's head coaches will still select the 14 reserves, voting for two guards, three frontcourt players and two players at any position in their respective conferences. It will air on TNT at 5 p.m. PT. Each post may include only one player's name.
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