ASK IRA:When does Gabe Vincent All-Star voting begin? – The Denver Post

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Q: Hope Gabe Vincent didn’t have plans for All-Star Weekend. – Andy.

A: And now we’re officially getting ahead of ourselves, which even would likely be for something as mundane as Eastern Conference Player of the Week. But what Gabe Vincent did was play as Fill-In Emergency Player of the Week, which is exactly what the Heat needed with Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro and others out. More significantly, he restored faith in his ability to lead when needed. It was an undeniable step forward.

Q: It’s a small sample size, but I’ve been impressed by Jamal Cain’s athleticism, defense and ability to score in transition and in the paint. If he can develop even a decent 3-point shot, I can see him being a long-term rotation player. What are your thoughts on him? – Ruben, Davie.

A: It tends to be dangerous to project that far ahead. That is where teams wind up overpaying for potential. And I’m not sure the skillset, at least at the moment, would command more than a minimum salary, as a complementary piece. But nice find? You bet. And someone who could carve an extended NBA career? There certainly are signs that it could trend that way.

Q: Can we just admit that today’s era is soft? Michael Jordan at 40 years of age played a full 82-game season, with ice bags on his knees in between substitutions. It has been seven seasons since Jimmy Butler played over 60 games, and in that season he missed 17 games. Tyler Herro is another player who is always out. NBA players all around the league are constantly out. Jordan played in nin 82-game seasons in a more physical era. John Stockton played in 16 82-game seasons, including a full 82 game season at the age of 40. Silver should buckle down . – Anthony.

A: You say soft. But teams might look at it as being smart. The regular season, in a league where 20 of the 30 teams play past the end of the regular season, has become almost marginalized by the league. So would you rather make sure everyone plays in December or January, or is good to go for May and June? Put it this way, if the current time off for Kyle Lowry means avoiding a postseason absence like last season, wouldn’t you take it? Because for all the examples you cite, I can also recall Isiah Thomas, Byron Scott, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing and so many others limping to the end of the playoffs during the play-every-game era.

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