NBA All-Star voting 2023: Sixers' Joel Embiid and James Harden each third in first fan returns

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Embiid, Harden both sit third in first ASG fan voting returns originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Sixers’ top two players both sit third in the first NBA All-Star fan voting returns.

Joel Embiid was No. 3 on Thursday among Eastern Conference frontcourt players, while James Harden was No. 3 for East guards.

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Three frontcourt players and two backcourt players from each conference will be selected as starters for the Feb. 19 game in Salt Lake City. The league’s head coaches will choose seven reserves — two guards, three frontcourt players, two wild cards — per conference.

Embiid leads the East in scoring with 33.5 points per game. With Celtics star Jayson Tatum close behind in the initial fan voting returns, Embiid doesn’t appear to be a lock for a sixth consecutive All-Star starter nod.

Harden has averaged 22.3 points, 10.8 assists and 6.0 rebounds for the 23-14 Sixers. The 33-year-old doesn’t officially qualify as a league leader because he missed over a month with a left foot injury and has therefore played in under 70 percent of the Sixers’ games, but he’s at the top of the NBA in assists per game. 

Harden sat out last year’s All-Star Game because of a left hamstring injury. Embiid scored a team-high 36 points, but Stephen Curry won his first All-Star Game MVP with a 50-point night and record 16 three-pointers.

This season’s starters will be revealed on TNT on Jan. 26. Reserves will be announced on Feb. 2.