Kevin Garnett's injury is costing him in the All-Star balloting. He dropped out of the second starting forward spot in the most recent returns, losing ground to Knicks scoring-machine Amar'e Stoudemire.
Garnett, a 13-time all-star, has missed the past eight games with a strained right calf, and although he could return to the lineup tomorrow night against the Bobcats, the realistic target for his return is Monday against the Magic. The Celtics are 5-3 in his absence.
Stoudemire is making a case for MVP, reviving a Knicks franchise that hasn't second in the Atlantic Division behind the Celtics. Stoudemire is second in the league in scoring (26.1 points a night) behind Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant. In his past five games, he's gone for 23.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. He would be the first Knick to start an All-Star game since Patrick Ewing in 1992.
Derrick Rose has been a highlight waiting to happen, and after dropping 36 on the Celtics last weekend, he vaulted to second among guards behind Dwyane Wade, pushing Rajon Rondo out of the potential starting backcourt. Rondo made his first all-star team last season.
You can still vote on All-Stars for 10 more days. The game is Feb. 20 in Los Angeles. The full voting is below.
2011 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING
Forwards: LeBron James (Mia) 1,518,807; Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 1,143,391; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 1,049,544; Paul Pierce (Bos) 578,473; Chris Bosh (Mia) 427,551; Carlos Boozer (BULLS) 320,661; Josh Smith (Atl) 280,158; Danilo Gallinari (NYK) 259,619; Danny Granger (Ind) 201,653; Luol Deng (BULLS) 191,312.
Guards: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,499,768; Derrick Rose (BULLS) 1,225,575; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 1,171,311; Ray Allen (Bos) 630,588; John Wall (Was) 260,893; Brandon Jennings (Mil) 254,614; Raymond Felton (NYK) 246,208; Gilbert Arenas (Orl) 240,586; Jamal Crawford (Atl) 163,971, Darren Collison (Ind) 156,230.
Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,537,619; Shaquille O’Neal (Bos) 639,661; Joakim Noah (BULLS) 291,107; Andrew Bogut (Mil) 245,253; Al Horford (Atl) 193,449; Roy Hibbert (Ind) 183,092; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 162,364; Brook Lopez (NJ) 125,022; JaVale McGee (Was) 106,710; Ben Wallace (Det) 79,017.
Forwards: Kevin Durant (OKC) 1,270,729; Carmelo Anthony (Den) 945,720; Pau Gasol (LAL) 851,456; Blake Griffin (LAC) 702,784; Tim Duncan (SA) 663,487; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 615,243; Lamar Odom (LAL) 364,950; Luis Scola (Hou) 347,986; Kevin Love (Min) 301,529; Caron Butler (Dal) 205,146.
Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,757,216; Chris Paul (NOH) 949,049; Manu Ginobili (SA) 593,718; Steve Nash (Pho) 522,215; Deron Williams (Utah) 487,887; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 463,250; Tony Parker (SA) 355,993; Jason Kidd (Dal) 303,164; Vince Carter (Pho) 277,430; Kevin Martin (Hou) 266,037.
Centers: Yao Ming (Hou) 928,928; Andrew Bynum (LAL) 660,576; Nene (Den) 389,263; Marc Gasol 352,136; Emeka Okafor (NOH) 317,677; Brendan Haywood (Dal) 276,777; Marcus Camby (Por) 201,133; Chris Kaman (LAC) 165,684; Andris Biedrins (GS) 126,567; DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 110,230.