Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton Gaining All-Star Steam

via NBA.com

Stoudemire hasn’t wasted any time making his presence felt in New York, leading the Knicks back into playoff contention after a six-year absence. The MVP candidate is also in the running for a starting All-Star spot, checking in third among East forwards and gaining fast in the latest voting returns released Thursday.

But is Stoudemire the only Knickerbocker deserving of an all-expense paid trip to Staples Center? Raymond Felton might not be getting the fan love — he’s only eighth in the East guard vote — but the plucky point guard is quietly putting together an All-Star caliber season in his first New York campaign. Felton is enjoying a career year, averaging 18.2 points and 8.7 assists, good for seventh in the league.

“He deserves it, but again somebody will be left off [the All-Star team] and they deserve it, too,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “You can only pick 12 guys and the 13th guy deserves it. It’ll come down to that. I hope he will get it. In my mind he definitely deserves it. He’s played well.”

There is obviously a lot of love going around for Stoudemire (also a legit MVP candidate) and Felton to rep the Knicks’ orange and blue during All-Star weekend.

While Stoudemire is a surefire all-star (whether as a starter or reserve), the Knicks are doing a phenomenal job of relaying the entire city of New York (and all of their other fans, for that matter) behind Stoudemire in hopes of having him voted in as a starter. He’s been heavily gaining ground on Kevin Garnett, who is second overall in all-star balloting for forwards.

The last time the Knicks had an all-star in the starting lineup? That would be 1992, back when Patrick Ewing was toast of the town.

Felton, Stoudemire’s right hand man, is absolutely deserving of an all-star bid himself, just as Coach D’Antoni notes. In addition to Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo, is there any other point guard in the Eastern Conference that has played just as well, but is also equally as clutch and crucial to his team’s success as Raymond Felton is for the Knicks? I think not.

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