January 05, 2023
The first wave of fan voting for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game was released Thursday, and the Sixers' Joel Embiid and James Harden were among the Eastern Conference's top vote-getters.
Embiid, who went on a tear through December, so far has the third-most votes in the East's frontcourt with 2,226,712.
Harden, who averaged 21.8 points and 12.0 assists through the month himself after returning from a foot injury, also has the third-most votes in the backcourt with 1,161,593.
The All-Star starters are annually determined 50 percent by the fan vote and 25 percent each by a media and player ballot.
With the top three players in the frontcourt and top two in the back chosen as the starting five for each conference, Embiid appears well on his way to another start and his sixth consecutive All-Star appearance.
Harden is just on the outside looking in but is likely to make it as well with the reserves being chosen after the fact by NBA coaches. He'll be going for his 11th All-Star honor.
Based on the fan vote, Joel Embiid is currently on pace to start another All Star game — slightly out in front of Jayson Tatum as it stands right now. Still a lot of time left, plus the media and player votes to factor in pic.twitter.com/FkZ9eFJ1Iq— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) January 5, 2023
Embiid, in his seventh season, is averaging 33.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, and with two 50-plus point performances on the year already has been scoring in every which way imaginable.
"He's six-foot-eleven and can move like a guard," Harden said following Embiid's 53-point night against Charlotte back on December 11. "It's pretty special to see. He gets to the basket and draws so much attention, it's just crazy. It's crazy to be that big and being able to move like that."
And a skillset that will keep him in the MVP conversation once again.
Harden re-upped with the Sixers over the summer with championship aspirations in mind and while he isn't the player he was in his prime with the Rockets, is still a productive and crucial part of the Sixers' starting lineup.
Through 22 games this season, he's averaging 22.3 points and 10.8 assists while shooting at a 43-percent clip.
Fan voting will continue through January 21, and captains and starters will be announced January 26. The reserves will be confirmed on February 2.
This year's All-Star Weekend is February 17-19 in Salt Lake City.
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