Big names from different cities have dominated the NBA All-Star Ballots for almost the last decade. Names such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant immediately come to mind.
Everyone expects New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to send multiple players to the All-Star showcase in February.
While Durant and James lead the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively, in the latest release of All-Star voting statuses, a couple of familiar names pop up right behind them.
Paul George and Roy Hibbert. From the Indiana Pacers.
George has emerged as one of the better scorers and a more elite overall player since late 2012. Hibbert, although somewhat inconsistent offensively, has made serious strides on defense since entering the league.
Roy would be the first to tell you he couldn’t ever stay in the game due to foul trouble. His effectiveness around the rim on defense complemented with his ability to block and/or alter an opponent’s shot is remarkable. Thus, Hibbert stands in the fourth spot among frontcourt players in the East with 385,964 votes as of January 9, according to an official release from the NBA.
George is second in the frontcourt with 899,671 votes, also as of January 9. That pace would make George a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team. LeBron James leads all NBA players with 1,076,063 votes.
Hibbert’s statistics aren’t jaw-dropping, but they’re solid for a team that’s 29-7. The big man is averaging 12.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Again, his presence in the paint is impressive above all else.
George got off to blistering start to the season, but has since cooled off on offense. Nevertheless, the 6-9 wing is averaging 22.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists through 36 games. He also proves his worth on defense, averaging 1.92 steals per contest.
As long as Indiana Pacers fans have anything to do with the voting, George and Hibbert seem to be headed to New Orleans for the 2014 NBA All-Star weekend.