The 2011 Eastern Conference All-Star team is going to be tough to predict. Early 2011 NBA All-Star Game projections have players like Rajon Rondo and Joakim Noah really stepping up their games to earn a spot, but with so many other star players on the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics it is going to be interesting to see how the fans, players, and coaches feel about the 12 roster spots.
The 2011 NBA All-Star Game ballots are already out, allowing fans to start placing their votes for the starting five this year. Some of the selections in the Eastern Conference seem like they should be pretty obvious, but it is also clear that there is going to be a lot of debate about who should not just be in the starting five, but among the players that are selected to take one of the seven bench spots.
Let’s start easy, with the Eastern Conference starting center, as we all know it will be Dwight Howard in a land-slide vote. Moving over to the guard position it gets a little tougher to predict, but Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose stand out from the group. The voters will probably go with the more exciting Rose over Rondo, and he will join Wade in the starting lineup.
At the forward position it isn’t clear if there are enough people supporting LeBron James to earn him a starting nod. In addition to James, there is Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Amare Stoudemire, and Gerald Wallace. It seems like James and Garnett will again get the votes, even if Garnett might not deserve a slot on the All-Star team this year. Going with those two means that four of the five All-Stars will be the same as in 2010, with just Rose replacing Allen Iverson.
Eastern Conference All Star Starting Five
F — LeBron James
F — Kevin Garnett
C — Dwight Howard
G — Dwyane Wade
G — Derrick Rose
The bench players might be even tougher for NBA analysts to agree upon when it comes to the 2011 Eastern Conference All-Star team. There are quite a few great role players out East right now, and then there are some players who are typically stars who are having off seasons so far. Emerging early in the 2010-11 NBA season will serve as an advantage, because it will create the best buzz possible, and lead to more support when it comes to selection the bench.
Let’s start with the players that absolutely have to be on the 2011 Eastern Conference All-Star team, and it begins with New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire. He is again a star, averaging around 24 points and nine rebounds per game for a Knicks team that is trying hard to chase down the NBA Playoffs. Joakim Noah also has to be on this team, averaging around 15 points and 13 rebounds per game, he is the second best rebounder in the NBA right now.
Rajon Rondo has to be one of the back-up point guards, but the debate begins with whether there should be a third one on this team. Both Raymond Felton and John Wall are having amazing seasons for their new teams, and both would be great on the team. The excitement that Wall brings to the game gets him the nod right now, but it would be hard to be upset if Felton was also placed on the team as a later selection. Brandon Jennings is another player that could receive a lot of support, but he has to increase his assists per game average to much better than five a game.
Gerald Wallace is getting another one of the bench slots, as he is again one of the big cogs for the Charlotte Bobcats. Chris Bosh also needs a spot on this team, even if he hasn’t been getting a lot of the headlines in Miami this season. He is still averaging around 18 points and eight rebounds per game, but he is also playing fewer minutes. The final player will also be a forward, as Danny Granger deserves a spot on this team, as one of the top scorers in the NBA once again. He could be deadly on the court with some of these other players, and he gets the nod.
2011 Eastern Conference All Star Team Bench
C — Joakim Noah
F — Amare Stoudemire
F — Gerald Wallace
F — Chris Bosh
F — Danny Granger
G — John Wall
G — Rajon Rondo
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