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Sport: NBA All-Star voting 2022: Takeaways from second fan vote returns to decide captains, starting lineups

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The NBA released the second fan vote returns for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, Jan. 13.

The first fan vote returns showed that Warriors star Stephen Curry and Nets star Kevin Durant were frontrunners to captain the All-Star teams, and that hasn't changed in the second fan vote returns. Lakers star LeBron James has leapfrogged Durant for the second-most votes in the league, but that does not change Durant's current captain status.

Just like in years past, fans will account for 50% of the final vote for this year's All-Star Game. The other 50% is made up of current players and a media panel, with each side accounting for 25% of the vote.

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Voting began on Dec. 25 and will conclude at 11:59 p.m. ET on Jan. 22.

The 71st NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. ET.

VOTE FOR YOUR 2022 NBA ALL-STARS HERE!

Now, onto takeaways from the results…

The results

Top 10 vote-getters

  1. Stephen Curry – 4,463,426
  2. LeBron James – 4,386,392
  3. Kevin Durant – 4,088,334
  4. Giannis Antetokounmpo – 3,808,458
  5. Nikola Jokic – 3,016,380
  6. DeMar DeRozan – 2,973,854
  7. Joel Embiid – 2,357,404
  8. Andrew Wiggins – 1,829,733
  9. Paul George – 1,773,447
  10. Ja Morant – 1,633,313

Video: Two Boston Celtics feature in NBA Eastern Conference All-Star fan voting (SMG)

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​If voting ended today, fan-voted starters would be…

Eastern Conference Western Conference
DeMar DeRozan Guard Stephen Curry
Trae Young Guard Ja Morant
Kevin Durant Frontcourt LeBron James
Giannis Antetokounmpo Frontcourt Nikola Jokic
Joel Embiid Frontcourt Andrew Wiggins

The tightest races for starting spots

The Western Conference frontcourt has the closest race for a starting spot, with a new name entering the starting lineup as of the latest fan vote returns: Wiggins has passed Paul George for the time being, with only 56,286 votes separating the two players. While it's worth mentioning again that the fan vote only counts for 50% of the final vote, it's also worth noting that George is currently sidelined with an elbow injury and would likely need a replacement if he did crack the starting lineup.

The next-tightest contest is for the second guard spot in the Eastern Conference. On the first All-Star fan vote returns, it was Nets star James Harden who joined DeRozan in the backcourt. This time around, Young has leaped both Harden and Zach LaVine to take that second backcourt spot, with 153,730 votes separating him and LaVine.

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The other race to keep an eye on is the second backcourt spot in the West, where Morant has jumped Luka Doncic. Morant's recent surge has paid off, taking a 222,708-vote lead over Doncic for the second starting spot among Western Conference guards.

New names entering the top 10

In the Western Conference, there were no new names in the top 10 for the frontcourt or backcourt, but there was some shuffling among the same group of players.

In the Eastern Conference, there were only two new names that popped up in the top 10.

In the frontcourt, Toronto Raptors forward and one-time All-Star Pascal Siakam entered the conversation, receiving 244,042 votes to rank eighth in the East. In the backcourt, Boston Celtics guard and one-time All-Star Jaylen Brown entered the top 10, receiving 217,463 votes to rank 10th in the East.

Pascal Siakam defends Giannis Antetokounmpo © Provided by Sporting News Pascal Siakam defends Giannis Antetokounmpo

Who left the top 10?

To connect the dots for you, since there were no new names among the top 10 in the frontcourt or backcourt in the West, that means there were no names that dropped off.

In the East, with Siakam taking a top 10 frontcourt spot, it was Bulls center and two-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic who fell off the list. In the backcourt, Brown replaced the Miami Heat's Sixth Man of the Year candidate Tyler Herro.

Also worth noting

Lakers veteran forward Carmelo Anthony continues to receive love from the fans, tallying 886,014 votes to rank seventh in the West frontcourt. Lakers guard Russell Westbrook has also jumped up on the list, going from ninth last week to sixth this week in the West backcourt.

In the East, Nets veteran LaMarcus Aldridge surprisingly remained in the top 10, receiving 216,216 votes. In the backcourt, Raptors star Fred VanVleet continues to be outpaced by Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who has only played in three games, and New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose, who has missed significant time due to an ankle injury.

Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton: 'I want to be here in Cleveland' .
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