Voting for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game began on December 25.

As in past seasons, NBA fans, the media and players vote for the starters for this year’s All-Star Game. (Fans account for 50 percent of the vote, while current players and a panel of media each account for 25 percent.) The reserves will then be voted on by the NBA’s head coaches.

Both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference starters will be made up of two guards and three players from the front zone. The substitutes for each conference will have two guards, three forwards and two players in any position.

That means there are a total of 24 spots up for grabs.

There are still many things that can change between now and when the voting ends at midnight on January 22, but it is becoming clear which players will be locks for the All-Star Game this season and which players will be debated.

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NBA All-Star Game 2022: An Early Look at Lockouts, Potential Reserves, and Potential Slights

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the obvious

Let’s go ahead and block these seven players (in no particular order):

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks (FC)
  2. Kevin Durant, Nets (FC)
  3. Stephen Curry, Warriors (G)
  4. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets (FC)
  5. LeBron James, Lakers (FC)
  6. Joel Embiid, 76ers (FC)
  7. DeMar DeRozan, Bulls (G)

Antetokounmpo, Durant, Curry and Jokic are the main candidates for MVP so far this season. The Lakers have been a disappointment, but LeBron continues to challenge Father Time. (His December numbers? 30.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks. Unreal.) Embiid has missed some time, but he has been nothing short of dominant in the games he has appeared in.

As for DeRozan, he is putting together the best season of his career and has been a driving force in Chicago’s early-season success. Whether as a starter or reserve, it’s hard to imagine him not winning his first All-Star bid since 2017-18.

Safe assumptions

They might not be a piece of cake, but here are nine more players who are sure to be All-Stars this season (again, in no particular order):

  1. Donovan Mitchell, Jazz (G)
  2. Rudy Gobert, Jazz (FC)
  3. Chris Paul, Suns (G)
  4. Devin Booker, Soles (G)
  5. Ja Morant, Grizzlies (G)
  6. Bring Young, Falcons (G)
  7. Zach LaVine, Bulls (G)
  8. James Harden, Networks (G)
  9. Draymond Green, Warriors (FC)

Mitchell and Gobert make one of the best doubles in the league. Same for Paul and Booker. Morant’s game makes one of his teammates wonder if he’s the best point guard in the league. (The answer is still Curry, but it’s safe to say that Morant has worked his way up the point guard since the start of the season.) Similar to LeBron, the Hawks have been quite disappointing, but Young has been quite incredible. (Atlanta is nearly 20 points per 100 possessions better offensively on the court. That’s not a typo.) LaVine’s numbers are nearly identical to last season, only now he’s doing it on a Bulls team that has the best record in the Eastern Conference. .

Harden is having a poor season by his standards, but he’s still flirting with a 20-point triple-double every night and has played a key role in setting the Nets one of the best records in the Eastern Conference.

Last but not least, Green. His numbers may not scream All-Star, but he is the favorite for Defensive Player of the Year and his passing unlocks much of what the Warriors do offensively. He’s a worthy All-Star this season, to the point where I scored him as one of the five Western Conference starters when I did this drill on Christmas Day.

In consideration (and possible slights)

Here it is where it gets interesting.

For those keeping score, that leaves us with three spots up front and two wild cards in the Eastern Conference.

Here are some notable players in the race for those:

  1. LaMelo Ball, Hornets (G)
  2. Jaylen Brown, Celtics (G)
  3. Fred VanVleet, Raptors (G)
  4. Darius Garland, Cavaliers (G)
  5. Bradley Beal, Wizards (G)
  6. Jrue Holiday, Dollars (G)
  7. Tyler Herro, Heat (G)
  8. Kyle Lowry, Heat (G)
  9. Khris Middleton, Bucks (FC)
  10. Jayson Tatum, Celtics (FC)
  11. Jimmy Butler, Heat (FC)
  12. Pascal Siakam, Raptors (FC)
  13. Miles Bridges, Hornets (FC)
  14. Domantas Sabonis, Pacers (FC)
  15. Jarrett Allen, Cavaliers (FC)

In the Western Conference, that leaves us with two positions up front and a wild card spot.

Here are some notable players in the race for those:

  1. Luka Doncic, Mavericks (G)
  2. Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers (G)
  3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder (G)
  4. Dejounte Murray, Spurs (G)
  5. Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves (G)
  6. Brandon Ingram, Pelicans (FC)
  7. Andrew Wiggins, Warriors (FC)
  8. Paul George, Clippers (FC)
  9. Anthony Davis, Lakers (FC)
  10. Karl Anthony Towns, Timberwolves (FC)
  11. Deandre Ayton, Suns (FC)

Yes … there will be some tough decisions to be made when NBA head coaches select the reserves.

Where and when is the NBA All-Star Game 2022?

Cleveland hosts the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, February 20.

Cleveland last hosted the All-Star Game in 1997, when the league celebrated its 50th anniversary. The league is celebrating its 75th anniversary this season.

In the first week of the season, the NBA released a list of the 75 greatest players of all time to celebrate the league’s 75th anniversary.