Presence of Pacers, Paul George improves with third All-Star returns

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George (899,761) remains the top Pacers vote-getter with frontcourt players Roy Hibbert (4th, 385,964) and David West (14th, 61,612) join backcourt players George Hill (8th, 89,248) and Lance Stephenson (9th, 77,364) as all five Indiana starters are featured in the NBA All-Star third returns.

With just 12 days remaining for NBA All-Star Balloting, all five Indiana Pacers starters have found a spot among the top of their respective positions among Eastern Conference voters. Last time we checked in, Lance Stephenson joined the rankings in the Eastern Conference backcourt, but with the third returns, David West becomes the final Pacers starter, ranking in at #14 among Eastern Conference frontcourt players with 61,612 votes. West's presence makes Indiana the only Eastern Conference team to have five players in the top 10-15.

They're led still by Paul George, who remains second in the East and moves up to third in the NBA with 899,761 votes. Kobe Bryant's injury has led him to fall back despite remaining the Western Conference's top backcourt player with 844,538 votes. LeBron James remains atop all vote-getters with 1,076,063, leading Kevin Durant by just under 23,000 votes, Durant posting 1,054,029 votes. George follows James in the East, well on pace to start his first NBA All-Star Game, leading Carmelo Anthony who has 702,869 votes.

Roy Hibbert is the top of the remaining four Pacers, placing fourth among Eastern Conference frontcourt players with 385,964. Despite his poor game last night in Atlanta, Hibbert's overall season should make him a key part of the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. Dwyane Wade (718,109) and Kyrie Irving (652,522) are looking like locks to start for the Eastern Conference's backcourt.

George Hill (89,428) and Lance Stephenson (77,364) remain eighth and ninth in the backcourt voting. Stephenson remains a wild card for an All-Star debut this season, but has continued to play well, averaging 15.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in the past month, falling just shy of his fourth triple-double of the season Tuesday against Toronto. Stephenson's spot will be in contention with other backcourt leaders like John Wall (278,516), Deron Williams (95,309), and DeMar DeRozan (68,985).

It's unlikely West or Hill will get any lengthy consideration as All-Star Reserves, but their ability to get votes speaks to Indiana's rise as an NBA power. It's a recognition towards the way the Pacers have been built and the way the team carries themselves. Even if only George and Hibbert reach the All-Star Game, the virtual lock of Frank Vogel as head coach will still carry Indiana's torch in full force.

Out West, Durant, Dwight Howard (509,116), and Blake Griffin (500,964) are closing in on starting roles for the Western Conference, but Kevin Love (483,031) remains a possibility for a starting spot. Bryant leads the Western Conference backcourt despite his pleas to not be voted for, but with his status uncertain, along with Chris Paul (third, 651,073), the starting backcourt might look much different, despite Stephen Curry being second with 677,372 votes. Jeremy Lin (471,980) and James Harden (338,788) are fourth and fifth respectively.

While the lineups are more or less set, there are still a little more time to get in some extra votes for your Indiana Pacers.

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