The latest tallies of All-Star fan voting were released on Thursday. The numbers aren't kind to Wizards star Bradley Beal, who earned his first All-Star berth last season.
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In the first round of fan voting, Beal was ranked 9th among Eastern Conference guards ahead of John Wall in the 10th spot. Now Beal has slipped to 10th, having been leapfrogged by the Heat's Goran Dragic, who has only played 14 games this season.
Fan voting only counts for 50-percent of the equation in choosing two backcourt players and three frontcourt players as All-Star starters. Coaches select reserves for the remaining seven roster spots on each team (usually three or four backcourt players, three or four frontcourt players), so Beal's best chances of an All-Star berth lie with them anyway. That's how he got in last year.
That path is a lot less certain for Beal this time around–despite the fact that he's having the best statistical season of his career with 24.2 PPG and 4.8 RPG–because of Dwyane Wade and Ben Simmons.
Wade, 36, is a legend by this point in his career, but he's no longer a starting-caliber player. That won't stop nostalgic fans from voting him to the All-Star starting lineup, though. He's second in fan voting among Eastern Conference guards behind Kyrie Irving.
Let's assume those two players take the two starting guard spots. That leaves three or four more roster spots for reserve guards in the East. The players in contention are:
This list includes 6-10 Simmons, who is considered a guard despite his height and hybrid role. Simmons' classification as a backcourt player could be the factor that costs Beal his second straight All-Star appearance.
That's because Walker, Simmons and Oladipo are virtual locks to make the team, leaving one final guard spot undecided unless coaches decide to choose five backcourt players (unlikely). Beal–at least statistically–is having a better season than LaVine, Lin and Dragic, but would have to beat out Lowry for that last slot.
Beal might be able to do so on individual statistics alone, but coaches don't select players in a vaccuum. The Wizards are struggling through a disappointing season with a 17-25 record. Meanwhile, Lowry is big reason the Raptors have the second best record in the NBA.
It seems an injury to another guard would be the only way Beal could sneak onto the All-Star roster with both Wade and Simmons.
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