The 2013-2014 NBA season figures to be an extremely promising year for the Indiana Pacers. Coming off last year when they took a back-to-back champion Miami Heat to the brink in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pacers have addressed their weak bench and have a ton of firepower that could make them an even bigger threat to the Heat.
One of the big things that will happen regarding the Pacers this season is the return of Danny Granger after a knee injury kept him out for almost the entirety of last season. Granger will give the Pacers another scoring threat, whether he’s in the starting lineup or coming off of the bench, and will give them another on-floor leader.
Moreover, Granger’s presence on the floor will also open up opportunities for his teammates because of the threat that he presents offensively. In an article by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star, Pacers star Paul George talked about how the respect that Granger will demand defensively when he’s on the perimeter will open up driving lanes, allowing George to attack more often.
What George is saying is unquestionably true. However, it doesn’t take into account the fact that George attacking off-the-dribble more often will necessitate George improving in terms of attacking off-the-dribble.
At just 23 years old, George has already proven himself to be a fantastic player with star potential. He can score in a variety of ways, rebound extremely well for his position, and can defend multiple positions and do so extremely well. However, his most glaring weakness in his game is the fact that he’s not a great ball-handler, especially when it comes to using his dribble to attack the defense.
Over the last couple of off-seasons, George’s main focus has been to improve his ball-handling. It’s gotten slightly better, but it’s still a problem. George has the tendency to be a tad careless with the ball, keeping his dribble too high and being too loose with the ball.
If George is going to attack off-the-dribble more frequently with the return of Granger, he has to make great strides in his ball-handling. It’s not going to be incredibly problematic if he doesn’t, but there will be some rough moments. Most importantly, though, George and the Pacers will greatly benefit if he does get substantially better in that department.
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