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Voting for the NBA All-Star game has begun and the Celtics have some BIG names amongst the contenders. Photo via Michael Dwyer
Fan voting for the 2020 NBA All-Star game in Chicago opened on Christmas Day and just about a week later we now have our first update on how the vote is going. In selecting the starters, votes are collected from fans (50% of the vote), players (25%) and the media (25%). The top 3 frontcourt and the top 2 backcourt vote-getters of each conference are guaranteed spots in the "schoolyard style" all-star draft as starters for the two overall leading vote-getters (captains) to select. The rest of the all-star roster spots are selected internally within the NBA by the 30 head coaches.
Right now, the Boston Celtics currently have five representatives in the top 20 eastern conference fan voting returns amongst some predictable turnouts and big surprises.

The Boston Celtics' newest all-NBA point guard Kemba Walker sits at number 3 in the eastern conference guards' first fan voting returns. Photo via Matt York
Kemba Walker (22.5 pts, 3.9 rebs, 5.2 asts)

To no one's surprise, Celtics' point guard Kemba Walker sits amongst the top 3 eastern conference guards in a VERY close race. Sophomore guard Trae Young (28.5 pts, 4.3 rebs, 8.3 asts) of the Atlanta Hawks is on top with 443,412 votes with Celtics' fan-favorite Kyrie Irving (28.5 pts, 5.4 rebs, 7.2 asts) sitting not far behind with 432,481. Kemba is currently in third with 432,031 votes but in my opinion, should be a starter on this list by the time this vote is all said and done seeing as Kyrie Irving has been out with injuries for the vast majority of the season.

Celtics' shooting guard Jaylen Brown has put together a strong all-star campaign in his breakout season for Boston. Photo via Micheal Dwyer
Jaylen Brown (20.6 pts, 7 rebs, 2.4 asts)

In his breakout season, 23-year-old Jaylen Brown sits ironically at number 7 amongst the eastern conference guards in the first fan vote returns with 156,537 votes. While I wouldn't expect Brown to jump up to a starter on the all-star team, I would be shocked if he did not at the very least receive a reserve spot on the relatively weaker eastern conference side of things due to his impressive stats as well as his key role in the Celtics' success so far this year.

The long-awaited ascension of Jayson Tatum has finally begun, and it looks like he has his first all-star appearance locked for the 2020 season. Photo via Mark J. Terrill
Jayson Tatum (21.3 pts, 7 rebounds, 2.8 asts)

On the frontcourt side, Boston's rising star Jayson Tatum sits not far outside the top 3 on the list at number 5 with 364,137 votes. Similar to Brown, Tatum has been trending upwards so far this year in just his third season in Boston. While I do not expect Tatum to be amongst the starters this season simply due to big names such as Giannis Antetokounmpo (30.4 pts, 13 rebs, 5.6 asts), Joel Embiid (23.7 pts, 12.4 rebs, 3.1 asts) and Jimmy Butler (20.8 pts, 6.6 rebs 6.6 asts) positioned ahead of him on the list I do think Tatum is a lock this year as a reserve to secure the first all-star appearance of his career.

Gordon Hayward has had a hard time staying consistently healthy since his career-threatening injury a couple of seasons ago. However, it is starting to look like he is getting back to his old self. Photo via David Richard
Gordon Hayward (16.6 pts, 6.2 rebs, 4.5 asts)

At number 8 in the fan votes sits Gordon Hayward, who would most likely be slightly higher if not for his injury-riddled for half of the season. Nonetheless, he still sits amongst the top ten in the eastern conference fan votes. However, I can see Hayward's 2020 all-star campaign going either way. I would not be surprised if he snatched one of the lower end reserve spots on the team but I also wouldn't be surprised if he missed the game this year altogether. If I had to predict right here, right now, I would say Hayward will probably get some rest this all-star weekend not because he hasn't performed well in his time on the court, but because smaller injuries have held him back from his full-blown comeback which we know is on the horizon.

7'7" undrafted rookie Tacko Fall has already made a huge imprint in the NBA fanbase, despite only playing 3 games thus far in a Celtics' uniform. Photo via Micahel Dwyer
Tacko Fall (4.3 pts, 2.3 rebs, 0 asts)

And last but certainly not least is the big man himself, Tacko Fall. The undrafted rookie fan favorite has been a well-known celebrity this season not just in Boston, but the NBA community as a whole. Although he has only played 3 games in a Celtics uniform so far, the 7'7" 24-year old currently finds himself just behind Tatum and ahead of Hayward at number 6 amongst the eastern conference frontcourt players with 110, 269 votes. The reality of the situation is that this is more of a fan favorite vote than anything else and while Tacko will more than likely not be on the all-star roster this season it is great to see that the love and support the fans had for him when the Celtics signed him to a training camp deal in the summer has carried all the way into the new year. Hopefully, in the near future, Tacko will get enough playing time and development to get a legit spot on the all-star team one way or another.

This is just the first fan vote return for the 2020 all-star game, so none of this is set in stone just yet. There will be a couple of more returns on January 9th and January 16th before the starters get announced on January 23rd and the reserves on the 30th. The date of the captain's draft of the all-star rosters has yet to be determined, but the NBA's annual All-Star weekend will be held in February from the 14th to the 16th. Until then, keep using your daily votes to get your favorite Celtics their very much deserved all-star spots.

You can follow Thomas Desmond on Twitter @td_654.

Thomas Desmond 1/02/2020 03:59:00 PM Edit
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