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Lin and Harden polling well in early All-Star ballot returns

Welp, it's happening again. The Houston Rockets' international prestige has earned the team a few more votes than might be justified. Jeremy Lin is the third highest voted guard in the Western Conference just in front of James Harden.

USA TODAY Sports is reporting in with the first returns from the 2013 NBA All Star Game voting. Jeremy Lin, James Harden, and even Omer Asik have been shown some love from the fans. Here are the raw numbers:


Frontcourt: LeBron James (Mia) 641,348; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 573,112; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 218,246; Chris Bosh (Mia) 210,724; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 151,744; Paul Pierce (Bos) 114,735; Joakim Noah (Chi) 73,366; Josh Smith (Atl) 69,344; Andrew Bynum (Phi) 68,596; Amar'e Stoudemire (NYK) 64,266; Shane Battier (Mia) 59,419; Anderson Varejao (Cle) 57,336; Luol Deng (Chi) 48,450; Brook Lopez (BKN) 47,940; Jeff Green (Bos) 36,080.

Backcourt: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 430,925; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 382,613; Deron Williams (BKN) 211,426; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 155,989; Ray Allen (Mia) 130,016; Monta Ellis (Mil) 47,650; Raymond Felton (NYK) 37,974; Jason Terry (Bos) 36,147; Brandon Jennings (Mil) 35,610; Jrue Holiday (Phi) 35,193.


Frontcourt: Kevin Durant (OKC) 605,965; Dwight Howard (LAL) 434,168; Blake Griffin (LAC) 307,855; Tim Duncan (SA) 189,577; Pau Gasol (LAL) 139,868; Kevin Love (Min) 112,922; Omer Asik (Hou) 88,178; Rudy Gay (Mem) 85,279; Serge Ibaka (OKC) 68,285; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 66,290; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 63,056; Marc Gasol (Mem) 61,716; Zach Randolph (Mem) 59,916; Metta World Peace (LAL) 59,167; Anthony Davis (NO) 53,779.

Backcourt: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 639,419; Chris Paul (LAC) 353,603; Jeremy Lin (Hou) 298,319; James Harden (Hou) 196,108; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 143,437; Steve Nash (LAL) 118,073; Tony Parker (SA) 69,983; Ricky Rubio (Min) 54,744; Manu Ginobili (SA) 47,800; O.J. Mayo (Dal) 36,495.

Honestly, I was expecting Lin to jump CP3 and given that he's only 55,284 votes behind him I'd say there's a very real chance that by the time the February 17th rolls around Lin might be starting next to Kobe Bryant in the 2013 All Star Game.

It's a little difficult to justify that Jeremy Lin (11.3 ppg, 6.1 assists) is having a better season than Russel Westbrook (21.1 ppg, 8.6 assists) or Tony Parker (19 ppg, 7.6 assists). As a tenured Rockets fan, I'm pretty used to this. The corpses of Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, and Steve Francis have all been unjustly voted into the All Star game before.

Omer Asik is another beneficiary of the Lin-factor. Right now the Turkish center is 7th in the Western frontcourt. Not bad, China. Not bad.