Paul George has done just about everything you could ask of a player trying to prove that he’s worthy of being called a star in the 2013-14 NBA season. The Indiana Pacers forward has come out this season and, in addition to his suffocating defense, has shown huge growth as both a scorer and facilitator and is an enormous reason behind the Pacers being one of the league’s best thus far.
However, January has been relatively unkind to George in terms of his offensive output. In the six games in January to Tuesday night’s contest against the Sacramento Kings, George was averaging just 16.5 points per game on only 34.3 percent shooting from the field and just 21.9 percent shooting from long-range. He was still contributing while also averaging 8.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game, but his shooting woes were glaring as the Pacers started the month at just 4-2.
Against the Kings, though, George certainly found his rhythm. Playing 34 minutes, the 23-year-old put up 31 points, three rebounds and two assists while shooting 10-18 from the floor and 4-7 from three. George’s offense helped the Pacers roll past the Kings by a count of 116-92.
Though it has to be noted that George was lighting up the third worst defense in the league on Tuesday night, it also can’t be discredited in regards to his recent struggles. One of the things that is often overlooked in this league is how important the mental aspect of the game is and how just seeing shots fall can help a player get his confidence back.
George is developing into a star, but he still is incredibly young and hardly slump-proof. Having him put up big offensive numbers and do so efficiently could aid him in getting going in 2014 and keeping the Pacers looking like an elite team and title contender.