Why Andrew Wiggins is beating Draymond Green in All-Star fan voting
User experience, baby.
Good morning. Let’s basketball.
Garden at Saint-Adresse, Claude Monet, 1867
The first NBA All-Star fan voting returns are in. The most heart-warming result is that DeMar DeRozan is absolutely crushing all other East guards. (No, DeRozan does not play guard for the Bulls. But he is a guard, if that makes sense.) The most surprising result that is not actually surprising is that the Warriors have a second player in the running to be a starter on the West roster. Only it’s Andrew Wiggins instead of Draymond Green.
This is surprising if you don’t know anything about the nature of reliance on counting stats to assess quality for many fans, and also if you haven’t looked at the NBA All-Star voting site, which is where I assume most people are voting.
Here’s the main voting page.
You can either click on one of the categories (like West frontcourt) or click the “Search Players” buttons to input players directly. If you click the little cute + button for West frontcourt, you get this.
This is a sorted list of eligible players. The user experience is pretty good — you can sort by various categories, set filters, refine your search, change categories. It’s all pretty slick. On mobile, which is where I bet 75% of people using this system are voting, the player rows are 2x2.
You may notice that the default sort order is points per game. You can select assists, rebounds, fantasy points or alphabetical order. But the default is points per game. You may also notice that the top three vote-getters in the West frontcourt are also the top three players listed on this screen by the default points per game sort order.
Wiggins has been scoring a lot of points this season. You don’t have to scroll far to find him.
You do have to scroll pretty far down to find Draymond Green, though. Like … really far. Past 46 (forty-six) other West frontcourt players, including: Marcus Morris Sr., Keldon Johnson, Carmelo Anthony, Richaun Holmes, Jae’Sean Tate, Jakob Poeltl, Cam Johnson, Doug McDermott, Frank Kaminsky, Dorian Finney-Smith, Michael Porter Jr., Jeff Green, Ivica Zubac, Jae Crowder, Rudy Gay, Chimezie Metu, Naz Reid, Bismack Biyombo, Alperen Sengun, Darius Bazley, Naz Little, Brandon Clarke, Daniel Theis, Herb Jones, Jaden McDaniels, Kyle Anderson and Nic Batum, among others.
If you’re not a Warriors fan, and if you’re a more casual NBA fan just scrolling through and selecting worthy players — you have probably given up scrolling downward before you reach Draymond Green, right? Wiggins is high enough that you might default to him if you refuse to vote for LeBron or think neither Paul George or Karl-Anthony Towns is worthy near the top. Warriors fans popping on to vote exclusively for Steph Curry have no problem finding Wiggins. There’s so effort involved in voting for Draymond, even if it’s just starting to type his name in.
So that’s how we end up with Wiggins edging Draymond in the fan vote. PG is beating them both for No. 3, but PG isn’t active due to injury, and I imagine Green will significantly beat Wiggins in the media vote and possibly the player vote. So there’s still a path for Green to get a starting spot over Wiggins. And really, this doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
I just wanted to make sure we’re all clear why Andrew Wiggins is beating Draymond Green in All-Star fan voting. It always comes down to user experience.
Potential fix? Randomize the order of players on each reload. Possibly a little more resource intensive and could be frustrating from a UX to have non-worthy players show up at the top of the page. But it would ensure the vote isn’t overly skewed toward high scorers more than it already is. Another option is to make “fantasy points” the default sort — that helps players like Green, Rudy Gobert and Chris Paul, whose biggest values lie outside points per game.
Celtics 105, Knicks 108 — New York was down 25 points in the first half and 20 in the third before Boston lost the thread and let the Knicks stomp back. Jayson Tatum did everything he could to stop the comeback (21 points in the second half), but Evan Fournier got hot (41 for the game with 10 threes) and R.J. Barrett finished the job at the buzzer. Let’s call this one THE BANK HEIST.
Warriors 96, Pelicans 101 — Golden State has been looking a little tired and banged up, and both Steph Curry and Draymond Green sat for this one. The Warriors will accept it. They know they can beat the Suns and Jazz. The priority is getting Klay Thompson back and integrated and staying healthy for the stretch run. Of course you’d prefer a top-2 seed vs. a play-in team instead of a No. 3 seed against the Mavericks, Lakers or a potentially healthier Clippers or Nuggets team. And you’d prefer home court as long as possible in the West. But like I said, the Warriors know they can beat the Suns and Jazz, so I bet they are not too worried. (Suns-Warriors-Jazz-Grizzlies could make some incredible playoff series!)
Anyway, good on the Pelicans for refusing to give up on their season after that dreadful start and all the bad Zion Williamson news. The Pels are two games out of the play-in. Brandon Ingram is playing the best basketball of his career.
Clippers 89, Suns 106 — 19 and 14 for Jalen Smith. Phoenix front office, you really should have picked up that option! The Suns have now taken sole possession of No. 1 in the West with a 1-game lead on Golden State and a 2-game lead on the Jazz. The Clips are below .500 for the first time since November 3 and just 2-5 during Paul George’s latest absence. Barring total collapse they should remain in the play-in seeds, though.
All times Eastern. I bolded the most intriguing games.
Spurs at Sixers, 7
Bucks at Nets, 7:30, ESPN — Jrue Holiday is in the protocols :-(
Jazz at Raptors, 7:30
Wizards at Bulls, 8
Mavericks at Rockets, 8
Timberwolves at Thunder, 8
Kings at Nuggets, 9
Hawks at Lakers, 10, ESPN
Cavaliers at Blazers, 10
Grizzlies at Clippers, 3:30
Bucks at Hornets, 7
Magic at Pistons, 7
Jazz at Pacers, 7
Knicks at Celtics, 7:30, NBA TV
Heat at Suns, 9
Spurs at Nets, 12
Hawks at Clippers, 3:30
Wizards at Magic, 6
Pelicans at Raptors, 6
Timberwolves at Rockets, 7
Nuggets at Thunder, 7
Bulls at Mavericks, 7:30
Cavaliers at Warriors, 8:30, NBA TV — Klay back?
Kings at Blazers, 9
Grizzlies at Lakers, 9:30
Chris Haynes reports that Kawhi Leonard’s rehab is going well and chances are increasing that he could return this season. Game changer in the West if it happens.
Kevin Pelton ranks the 20 best WNBA free agents. I can’t imagine any of the top four switch teams. After that? Hmm.
Gary Payton II finds out the Warriors are going to guarantee his contract during a media scrum. Long live Young Glove.
When Inside the NBA is good it is so good.
Markieff Morris remains out with a back injury following the incident in which Nikola Jokic shoved him in the back in response to a hard, unnecessary foul. But Kieff’s Twitter fingers are back and healthy. Sheesh.
I ignored the Glenn Consor-Kevin Porter Jr. thing yesterday because it clearly seemed like an honest mistake, not a malicious comment. But it’s a thing, certainly.
More Warriors? Beautiful piece on Klay’s comeback from ESPN’s NBA Today, voiced by Steph.
Alright, that’s all. Be excellent to each other. Enjoy every breath.