Via the Orlando Magic:
Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic leads the Eastern Conference in voting after the fourth returns of 2011 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile were announced today. Howard ranks second overall in voting for the entire NBA behind only Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant, The Finals MVP last season, is the overall leader with 1,757,216 votes, while Howard paces the East with 1,537,619 votes.
This marks the final balloting update. Starters will be announced live on TNT on Jan. 27, during a special one-hour pregame show at 7 P.M. ET featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. Following the completion of fan voting and the starting line-up announcement, the head coaches in each conference will vote to determine the remaining All-Stars in their respective conference, which will be announced Thursday, Feb 3, prior to a TNT doubleheader.
The 2011 NBA All-Star Game, which will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, will be played at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011.
Howard, the leading vote-getter in the Eastern Conference with 1,537,619 votes, paces centers in the East, followed by the Boston Celtics’ Shaquille O’Neal (639,661). LeBron James, a two-time All-Star MVP (2006, 2008), leads all Eastern Conference forwards with 1,518,807 votes, followed by the New York Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire (1,143,391). The Heat’s Dwyane Wade, last year’s All-Star Game MVP, paces all guards with 1,499,768 votes; the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose is second among guards in the East (1,225,575). Stoudemire passed Boston’s Kevin Garnett (1,049,544) since the third balloting update was announced Jan. 6, while Rose leapfrogged the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo (1,171,311). All other potential starters for both teams remain unchanged from the previous update.
In the Western Conference, Bryant, a three-time All-Star MVP, who garnered the honor in 2002, 2007 and 2009, is followed at guard by the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul (949,049). Durant, a member of last year’s All-NBA First Team, paces forwards in the West (1,270,729), with the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony (945,720) second. The Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming (928,928) is the leading vote-getter among Western Conference centers, with the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum (660,576) placing second.