still could be an All-Star this season. But his chances of being named a starter in the annual mid-February exhibition game are slim.
Durant remains fifth in NBA All-Star voting among Western Conference forwards, the league announced Thursday in its fourth and final returns before the game’s starters are announced on Jan. 21. The top two vote-getters at the forward position will earn starting spots.
Durant, with 556,847 votes, trails Denver’s Carmelo Anthony
by more than one million votes and lags behind Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki
(826,130) by more than 250,000 votes. San Antonio’s Tim Duncan
(776,225 votes) and Los Angles Lakers forward Pau Gasol
(754,070) also rank ahead of Durant.
But Durant, the league’s fourth-leading scorer at 28.4 points per game, could earn his first All-Star selection as a reserve. Following the announcement of the game’s starters, head coaches in each conference will vote to determine the remaining All-Stars in their respective conference. The selections will be announced Thursday, Jan. 28, before a TNT doubleheader.
"I’m sure he’s going to be in that neighborhood,” said New Orleans coach Jeff Bower
on Wednesday night when asked if he deemed Durant an All-Star.
GREEN BREAKS OUT OF SLUMP
Thunder coach Scott Brooks
pointed to Jeff Green’s
aggressiveness attacking the rim as one of the reasons Green broke out of his recent slump Wednesday against the Hornets.