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 James649,327
Kevin Garnett533,187
Chris Bosh303,550
Paul Pierce131,379
Josh Smith109,404
EAST GUARDS
Dwyane Wade672,227
Vince Carter292,002
Gilbert Arenas212,526
Ray Allen208,276
Derrick Rose196,059
EAST CENTERS
Dwight Howard625,279
Shaquille O’Neal206,657
Andrea Bargnani67,310
Al Horford52,747
Andrew Bogut45,920
WEST FORWARDS
Carmelo Anthony588,958
Dirk Nowitzki366,300
Pau Gasol280,758
Tim Duncan271,321
Kevin Durant177,205
WEST GUARDS
Kobe Bryant692,518
Tracy McGrady281,545
Steve Nash272,135
Chris Paul248,049
Jason Kidd207,247
WEST CENTERS
Amar’e  Stoudemire447,776
Andrew Bynum299,484
Nene90,439
Marc Gasol75,765
Greg Oden73,874