Orlando Magic Photo; used with permission
The NBA revealed the starting lineups for the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams Thursday night, and to absolutely no one's surprise, the fans voted Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard to the Eastern squad. It's Howard's fifth straight appearance overall and fourth as a starter. The seven-year veteran garnered 2,099,204 votes from the fans, leading all Eastern players and ranking second in the league overall. The L.A. Lakers' Kobe Bryant led everyone with 2,380,016 votes.
Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Amar'e Stoudemire will join Howard in the starting lineup when East meets West in the February 24th game, which Los Angeles will host. His counterparts: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Yao Ming. As Yao is injured, NBA Commissioner David Stern will name a replacement for him.
In four prior All-Star appearances, Howard has averaged 16.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 26.5 minutes.
The NBA will announce the reserve squads, which votes from the league's coaches determine, next Thursday night. Despite a diluted field of East candidates, Orlando's unlikely to send another representative to the All-Star game.