With the first week of the NBA season in the books, the Indiana Pacers are looking like they could be serious title contenders. Indiana is 3-0 and playing extremely well, and looking even better than they were last year early on.
The Pacers are off to a fantastic start defensively, and that should come as no surprise. Indiana has been a good defensive team for the last two years, but since Frank Vogel has begun instilling a more physical presence within the team, they have taken it to another level. Indiana is allowing just 83.7 points per game through their first three contests — good for 2nd in the league.
One of the biggest reasons for Indiana’s early success has been due to the phenomenal play of forward Paul George. Having stepped it up every season since entering the league, George was thought to be on the brink of being a true superstar. All he needed to do was to improve offensively and he’d be right up there with the best of them.
George knows with Derrick Rose back that the Chicago Bulls are ready to battle it out for that second seed in the East, but he’s not ready to settle just for that. He’s playing like he wants that number one seed in the conference, and even more so, to earn MVP honors in 2013-2014.
Over the first week, George has averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals and a block per game. If he somehow continues at this pace, there will be no question who the MVP is this year. George is shooting a ridiculous 48.1 percent from the field including 43.5 from beyond the arc, showing us that he can truly be that offensive threat the Pacers need.