By Harry Allison
Sixers Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler have all made their marks in early voting announced yesterday for the NBA All-Star team.
JoJo is on the first team, Benny and Butler are on the second.
Four-time MVP LeBron James leads all players in fan voting for the NBA All-Star Game.
Other top vote-getters in the Western Conference include Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose and Golden State Warriors teammates Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Eastern Conference in the first fan vote tally — and is second to James among all players.
Joining Antetokounmpo atop the Eastern Conference vote are Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard, Embiid, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving.
The fan vote, which opened Dec. 25, accounts for 50 percent of the vote to determine the 10 All-Star starters.
All current NBA players and a panel of basketball media each account for 25 percent of the vote. Every voter will complete one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference.
The format for drafting teams from last season remains in place.
The top vote-getters from each conference will serve as team captains. Each captain will draft rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference. Captains can choose players for their teams regardless of conference affiliation. Reserves will be determined by a vote of NBA head coaches.
The captains’ draft will be televised this season. It was not televised in 2018, the first year of the captain format.
Currently, New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George are fourth and fifth, respectively, among Western Conference frontcourt players. Houston Rockets guard James Harden, who has scored a total of 408 points in his past 10 games, and Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook are the third and fourth guards, respectively, in the conference.
In the Eastern Conference, Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker and Simmons are third and fourth in the backcourt voting, respectively. Butler and Boston forward Jayson Tatum are fourth and fifth, respectively, in conference frontcourt voting.
Other totals of note: Vince Carter, 41, is seventh among Eastern Conference frontcourt players, while Atlanta Hawks teammate Jeremy Lin — a reserve guard — is eighth among backcourt players in the conference. Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins — who hasn’t played an NBA game in nearly 12 months due to a ruptured left Achilles tendon — is 10th among Western Conference frontcourt players.
Voting for fans, players and media will conclude Jan. 21. The All-Star starters — and captains — will be announced Jan. 24. Reserves will be announced Jan. 31.