2014 NBA All-Star Starters: Paul George earns first All-Star start for Eastern Conference

Andy Lyons

The Pacers young star took the league by storm early in the season to earn the second-most votes in the Eastern Conference.

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George officially earned his first NBA All-Star game start when the NBA announced the starters for the Western and Eastern Conference teams on Thursday night.

Last year, rival coaches gave PG the nod to the league's showcase game but this year fans across the took note of George's elevated level of play which turned the 23-year-old into a trendy pick among NBA All-Star voters. PG is averaging over 23 points per game to go along with his devastating defensive disposition which usually has him covering every opponent's top threat from point guards to power forwards.

According to the Pacers official release, PG is happy, humbled and aware of the honor of having the fans give him the nod this time around which means they are paying attention to the Pacers' success.

"It's huge. It's special, it's a blessing, especially coming from where I come from," said George. "Gaining votes through the fans to be a starter...A lot of guys come into the league and they already have a name and an image, and fans already are following them and already know about their game coming into the league. For me to have nothing really, it's love to the true fans that I have so I think it's special."

George continued, "It means a lot because that means the fans are really watching us as a team. For us to have the number one record in the league, and playing at a high level, I think the fans are starting to follow us as a whole and I think that's the biggest thing with me being a starter. Now, we have additional fans who are pulling for us."

Not only was PG selected by the fans but he finished third overall in the voting with more than 1.2 million votes, behind LeBron James (1.41 millions votes) and Kevin Durant (1.39 million votes). That's some pretty sweet company at the top of the heap.

Of course, Frank Vogel and staff will coach PG and the rest of the Eastern Conference All-Stars. The rest of the starting unit includes LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving. I assume Wade won't play since he regularly rests his knee as it is, but it should still be an interesting dynamic between the Heat and Pacers participants who will take a break from fighting it out in the East to come together and represent the East.

The Western Conference Starters should have a decided size advantage with Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love in the frontcourt. Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant were selected to start in the backcourt for the West, although Bryant will be there for show since his latest injury won't allow him to play.

Coaches will select the All-Star reserves which will be announced next week.

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