Paul Millsap Named Eastern Conference All-Star

Thursday, January 30, 2014
By Jaryd Wilson

Atlanta Hawks v Orlando Magic

Paul Millsap has been named an All-Star for the first time in his career, coinciding with his first season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

Millsap was selected by coaches around the league as one of seven Eastern Conference reserves, and I think it’s highly justified.  He’s been a force since Al Horford’s injury and has carried the load in the Hawks’ frontcourt.  He’s averaging nearly 18 points and more than eight rebounds, and he also leads the team in games played and steals.  Most importantly, he’s helped Atlanta stay above water in a muddied Eastern Conference playoff picture despite injuries to Horford and others.

Perhaps another reason he was voted in is his work ethic.  Millsap is a blue-collar worker who lets his play speak for itself.  He doesn’t do a lot of talking or show-boating and won’t lead the league in highlight plays, but he’s very efficient on both ends and has a high basketball IQ.  Coaches love guys like him, so that was probably a benefit.

“It’s an honor to be chosen by the coaches as an All-Star,” Millsap said. “I know this wouldn’t have happened without the help and support of my teammates and the hard work of our coaching staff, and I’m proud to represent the Hawks in New Orleans.”

“This is a very well deserved honor!” said Hawks’ President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ferry. “Paul has been an All-Star player and an All-Star teammate for us. The Atlanta Hawks are very proud to have Paul representing the city of Atlanta and our team.”

Millsap gives the Hawks a representative in the game after Atlanta went a season without one last year.

Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel will be the East’s head coach on Feb. 16.  I imagine Millsap will see decent minutes in the frontcourt because the starting forwards are Paul George, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony…none of whom are bigger than Millsap.

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images

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