What All-Star Game player vote results say about Celtics

Nick Friar
January 24, 2020 - 6:30 am

If the NBA All-Star Game starters were only decided by the fan vote, Kyrie Irving would’ve gotten the nod over Kemba Walker. But fans only account for 50% of the vote. A media panel counts for 25% and current NBA players make up the remaining 25%.

Listen to your team news NOW.

Both the media and current players not only had Walker ahead of Irving, they had him ahead of every Eastern Conference guard.

The players putting Walker that high on their chart is particularly impressive. And that says something about the talent Boston has. The same can be said about Jayson Tatum’s finish amongst Eastern Conference forwards.

His contemporaries slotted him fifth, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam and Bam Adebayo. Tatum also finished one spot ahead of Jimmy Butler in the player vote — making those two and Adebayo the favorites to fill the three reserve forward spots out of the East.

More importantly, the players voting Tatum as the East’s No. 5 forward and Walker as the East’s top guard shows that the rest of the league feels the Celtics have two elite players. That’s what you need to win in this league — and Tatum still has room to grow.

Then there’s Jaylen Brown, who was ranked No. 13 among Eastern Conference guards by current NBA players. Celtics fans may disagree with their voting having seen Brown up close.

He has played very well this season. Tatum is still the better of the two, but Brown has shown more growth — because Tatum was already ahead of him in the development process.

However, this could be a good thing for the Celtics. Given how Brown’s emotions are an important part of his game, this could motivate him to push harder — especially if the NBA head coaches don’t name him a reserve.

For more Celtics and NBA coverage, be sure to subscribe to WEEI’s 5 Out podcast. The podcast is available on RADIO.COM, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify.