From Joanne Gerstner in the Detroit News:
The NBA released the second balloting returns for the All-Star game, and things still look grim for the Pistons.
Rasheed Wallace is sixth and Tayshaun Prince eighth among forwards, both more than a million votes behind leader LeBron James .
Billups stands sixth and Hamilton ranks last (10th) in the guard category. Dwyane Wade leads, with Vince Carter second. And Nazr Mohammad is eighth at center, well behind Shaquille O 'Neal .
Quick aside: Gerstner is right in that things aren't looking good for the Pistons, but she's flat-out wrong when she implies Rip Hamilton is "last" in voting for the guards -- he's 10th out of 24, but the NBA only reveals the top 10 at each position. I'm sure she knows this, but it's inaccurate to write it the way she did.
I mentioned yesterday on the FanHouse that there's at least a chance Detroit won't send any players to the All-Star game -- Dwyane Wade and Vince Carter will almost be certainly voted in at the guard spot, and Gilbert Arenas, Michael Redd and Joe Johnson have much, much better numbers than Chauncey or Rip -- and I really doubt the roster will feature more than 4-5 guards.
LeBron James and Chris Bosh will likely be voted into as forwards, and Jermaine O'Neal and Paul Pierce are virtual locks to be added by the coaches. As much as Rasheed Wallace probably deserves to be voted in by the coaches, I won't be surprised to see him passed over for someone like Emeka Okafor. Tayshaun Prince has stepped up his play this year, but not by leaps and bounds, and his numbers aren't quite All-Star caliber.
How do I feel about the possibility of the East's best team not having a single All-Star? I wrote this on the FanHouse:
As a fan of the Pistons, you'd think I'd be ticked, right? Actually, no, not at all. Once upon a time, the Pistons clawed their way into the league's upper-echelon by outworking and out-hustling their opponents. All too often the past couple of years, though, they've grown complacent. Might a team-wide All-Star snub put a chip on their shoulder for the second half? I'm curious to find out.
Am I alone here? What do you guys think?
Vegas not calling [Detroit News]
2007 NBA All-Star Balloting Second Returns Announced [NBA.com]
Will Rip Hamilton's 51 Land Him an All-Star Bid?