The second returns for NBA All-Star fan balloting are in and check out how the center race in the East is shaping up:
Centers: Dwight Howard (Orlando) 1,161,797; Joakim Noah (Chicago) 141,683; Tyson Chandler (New York) 107,735; Joel Anthony (Miami) 67,210; JaVale McGee (Washington) 41,249; Al Horford (Atl) 35,860.
Honestly, I know that fans continuously get it wrong in All-Star voting. I also know that Howard, deservedly, will not be beat out in the voting. But Joel Anthony fourth among East centers? I understand Noah second and Chandler third, even if they’re not deserving this year, they play in big markets and they are big names. I even understand Horford sixth. Even though he’s injured and possibly out for the year, fans have a tendency to vote for names they know. I’m surprised Yao isn’t leading West centers as a write-in candidate.
Greg Monroe shouldn’t be voted in as a starter in the game, I’m not making that case. But he is arguably deserving of making the All-Star team. He and Spencer Hawes would probably be choices 1a and 1b for the backup center spot with Noah and Andrew Bogut having down seasons and Al Horford injured. Even if he doesn’t stand a chance in the voting, it’s a massive fail by the Pistons that they aren’t touting his All-Star credentials all over their website. They should be sending out Monroe highlight reels and All-Star propoganda to media everywhere, encouraging fans to vote for him multiple times, etc. That would at the very least help make his candidacy for a reserve spot stronger (Kevin Love’s very successful promotional campaign last year is a great example).
We saw the same thing hurt Monroe last year. He plays on a bad team that doesn’t get any national media attention, and the team wasn’t very aggressive last year in promoting his candidacy for awards. Not surprisingly, with little buzz around his candidacy, Monroe got shafted in the All-Rookie voting. Despite his fantastic start to this season, he still toils in relative anonymity outside of Detroit. The team has a true, bona fide asset with the potential to develop into a franchise player in Monroe. It’s the first time since Grant Hill they’ve had a young player like that, and the Pistons should be going out of their way to make sure everyone recognizes that. Monroe has actual basketball credentials that are worthy of being touted. If Vanilla Ice is worth this kind of promotion, Greg Monroe certainly is.
And if you want to help Monroe not get crushed in the voting, here’s the link.