The Indiana Pacers are one day away from their Game 6 matchup with the Atlanta Hawks, a game which they need to win to keep their season alive. This is a year that started with so much promise and is now seemingly heading towards a fatal collapse. Although these struggles have been present, in the 2014 NBA playoffs Paul George has been on a different level.
George emerged onto the scene last season in the playoffs and carried his new play into the beginning of this season. When the team started to stagger, so did his play and people started to question if the high level he had been achieving was just a fluke. This postseason George has done his past to quiet those critics and his numbers absolutely back it up; he is averaging 22.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 5.2 assist, and 2.8 steals. On top of all that he is also averaging over 40 minutes a game and shooting 51.5% from three. The sad truth is that unless the Pacers can win the next two games and continue their season, he will not get the credit that in my opinion he deserves.
George has also been a huge factor on the defensive side of the ball as one can note from his 2.8 steals a game. He has also taken on the responsibility of guarding Hawks point guard Jeff Teague after he scorched the Pacers for 28 points in Game 1; since then George has held him to only 15.5 point a game.
If a player truly wants to be great appealing numbers are never enough — he has to will his team to win and be a true leader. George has shown some impressive work this postseason, but if a loss comes Thursday night it will all be for nothing. An opportunity has presented itself and if it’s seized by not only him but his teammates as well, he will get his recognition and we won’t be able to stop talking about him.