On Wednesday night against the New York Knicks, the Indiana Pacers found themselves in a position that they haven’t been too familiar with over the start of the 2013-14 NBA season: playing from behind. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Pacers were down by four points to the Knicks and needed someone to step-up. Paul George fittingly was the one to take that step.
George was stellar in the second-half, staying aggressive, knocking down shots and getting to the line. Trips to the foul line played a huge role in the game for George and the Pacers after George was fouled with just five seconds left on the clock while taking a three. He stepped to the charity stripe and knocked down all three freebies to tie the game and send it to overtime. George continued in overtime to be impressive.
As many people have talked about, George is having a monster year for the Pacers to start the season and is a driving force behind their 10-1 start. Prior to the 35 points, five rebounds, four assists and five steals he put up on Wednesday, the forward has averaged 23.3 points, seven rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals in 35.5 minutes per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and 36.5 percent from three.
George has remained one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, but has also shown improvements on the offensive end of the floor and has been noticeably more aggressive on that end of the floor. In the playoffs last year, people started throwing around the term “superstar” in regards to George and, though he was great, I felt it was a bit premature. With the way he has played and led this season, though, it’s looking like that term is something he definitely deserves to be labeled with.