Can Kobe Bryant hold off LeBron James to once again be the leading vote-getter?
Will Jeremy Lin make a late finishing push to supplant MVP candidate Chris Paul in the Western Conference?
Those are the two biggest questions left to answer when the results of fan balloting to choose the starting lineups for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game are announced tonight on TNT (7 p.m. ET).
Bryant, who leads the league in scoring, had an advantage of 26,152 votes over James in the overall race in the most recent round of results released on Jan. 3. Paul was holding down the second spot in the West backcourt with a lead of 46,269 votes over Lin. The top three in the West frontcourt voting are: Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin.
James was leading everyone in the Eastern Conference, followed by frontcourt partners Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett. The top two backcourt vote-getters were Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo.
The howls of protest would likely be loudest if Lin, getting a strong wave of support from Asia, were to beat out Paul, who has the Clippers challenging Oklahoma City for the best record in the NBA.
But others who could make a legitimate case that they should be in the starting lineups based on their performances so far this season are Knicks center Tyson Chander in the East frontcourt and Spurs’ veteran Tim Duncan in the West frontcourt.