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Suns Fans Voted: Who’s the most likely second All-Star next to Book?

Top teams get 2+ All-Stars. Who gets the nod this year?

NBA: Phoenix Suns-Media Day Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to all those who voted in this week’s SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Phoenix Suns fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.

It’s been a weird year so far for the Phoenix Suns.

On one hand, they are having a bit of tough start to the season with a measly 9-6 record that’s only 4th best in the West. Last year after 15 games, the Suns were 12-3 in the midst of an 18-game winning streak on their way to a franchise record in regular season wins.

On the other hand, you could say the start is encouraging. Four of those six losses are by grand total of 6 points, they still have the 2nd best net rating in the league and they’ve been missing two starters for half of these games. They were 6-1 when Cam Johnson went down and 7-2 when Chris Paul joined him on the sideline. Since both have been out, the Suns are just 2-4 with a pair of one-point losses on the road.

Like I said, a weird year so far.

So let’s look forward two months to All-Star voting.

Due to the injuries and natural decline of Chris Paul, it looks less and less likely that Paul will be voted to the All-Star game this year. He’s made 12 All-Star games in his 18 year career, including the last three straight, but he hasn’t been playing at All-Star level since turning 37 years old.

Who else might join Devin Booker at the All-Star game in Utah?

Well, if the Suns don’t have a top-4 seed in the West, probably no one, which was Suns fans’ second choice with 25% of the vote.

However, top teams almost always get a second selection. It the Suns continue to win games and are sitting with one of the best three records in the West in mid-January, you can bet the league’s coaches will feel compelled to name a second Phoenix Suns player to join Booker for the game. Almost never does a top team get frozen out with one or fewer All-Stars.

We asked Suns fans this week to guess the second All-Star if one is picked, and you overwhelmingly chose Mikal Bridges with 64% of the vote, who is setting career highs across the board though he isn’t a typical All-Star selection because he’s not scoring even 18+ points per game. In fact, Mikal’s numbers, despite all being career highs, don’t make opposing coaches game plan against him. To make matters worse, he’s even less of coach’s nightmare in the playoffs by averaging only 12 ppg for his career there. So, color me skeptical on this one.

Deandre Ayton, who’s having a career-worst year so far, and Chris Paul, who’s been injured and wasn’t shooting well before that, round out the voting.

My guess is Chris Paul ends up getting the nod for the Suns again, much like Russell Westbrook got it one too many years (2020), assuming he gets healthy in December and January. He still one of the three best passers and ringleaders in the game, and one of it’s best clutch players.

Sorry Deandre Ayton. You picked the worst time to have your worst start to a season. This year could have been Ayton’s first All-Star selection because he’s definitely someone coaches have to scheme against on both ends of the floor — and they’re the ones who pick the All-Star reserves after the fan voting is done for starters. Yes, there’s a reason you see three bodies swarm Ayton on the catch, folks. It’s not just for fun. It’s coaching schemes for ways to contain the Suns.

What do you think Bright Siders?

Mikal or CP3?

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