by Ryne Nelson

You gotta enjoy All-Star balloting. Three months before the game, we already know — with 90 percent accuracy — the starters in the NBA’s annual Popularity Show.

According to the first All-Star Balloting returns (see below), we’ll likely see these lineups (pending injury):

East: LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade, Vince Carter, Dwight Howard.

West: Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire.

Bosh has an outside prayer of overcoming Garnett’s early lead. Nash and Paul should surpass the injured McGrady to vie for the final West guard starting spot. I give the nod to Nash because of his past ties with the Mavericks and their fans. Last season, you’ll recall, Nash failed to make the team, despite the game being in Phoenix.

Only the Lakers have a top 5 candidate in the forward, guard and center positions; although, it looks like Kobe will be the only starter.

Tim Duncan was an All-Star starter in every All-Star Game during the past decade, so maybe coming off the bench going into the 2010s isn’t such a bad thing.

2010 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING
EAST FORWARDS
LeBron James 649,327
Kevin Garnett 533,187
Chris Bosh 303,550
Paul Pierce 131,379
Josh Smith 109,404
EAST GUARDS
Dwyane Wade 672,227
Vince Carter 292,002
Gilbert Arenas 212,526
Ray Allen 208,276
Derrick Rose 196,059
EAST CENTERS
Dwight Howard 625,279
Shaquille O’Neal 206,657
Andrea Bargnani 67,310
Al Horford 52,747
Andrew Bogut 45,920
WEST FORWARDS
Carmelo Anthony 588,958
Dirk Nowitzki 366,300
Pau Gasol 280,758
Tim Duncan 271,321
Kevin Durant 177,205
WEST GUARDS
Kobe Bryant 692,518
Tracy McGrady 281,545
Steve Nash 272,135
Chris Paul 248,049
Jason Kidd 207,247
WEST CENTERS
Amar’e  Stoudemire 447,776
Andrew Bynum 299,484
Nene 90,439
Marc Gasol 75,765
Greg Oden 73,874