Forward Paul George of the Indiana Pacers is a bad man. He led the way in the team’s 95-92 win on Sunday night over the Washington Wizards. George took over the game with 39 points on 12-of-20 shooting, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range and 8-of-10 from the free throw line. George was also able to clean the glass well, grabbing 12 rebounds for the team.
The kind of game that George had is one of an MVP-caliber level. At the beginning of the regular season, when the Pacers were blowing through opponents, George was in the MVP discussion. As Oklahoma City Thunder star forward Kevin Durant took off and the Pacers rapidly declined, George was taken out of that discussion as his own performance fell off along with the rest of the team’s.
In the playoffs, George is making his presence felt like he did early in the regular season. During the postseason, he is averaging 21.9 PPG on 42.4 percent shooting from the field and 37.3 percent from deep. He is being the kind of all-around offensive talent that makes stars even though he is still young at just 24 years old. George is learning how to be more of a capable scorer, and as he progresses and spends more time in the league playing with the most talented players in the world, he will continue to become more polished and be more of an overall greater threat to the rest of the league.
Between George’s ability to drive to the basket and as knock down the jump shot, he is the Pacers’ greatest offensive weapon, something that the team desperately needs going forward as the rest of the Indiana team can struggle to generate consistent offense at times. However, the team’s defense is among the best in the NBA, and if the Pacers can find that spark on offense, then there will be few teams that will want to face them in any kind of situation.
Along with George’s ability to create offense, his rebounding and defensive skills are what make him even more of a valuable player to the Pacers. George has the defensive capability to guard the other team’s best player and even disrupt their rhythm by blocking shots and stealing the basketball in order to get Indiana out in transition. He also possesses great size at 6-foot-9 to be able to have an impact on the boards at both ends of the floor.
A player of George’ caliber does not exist on every team, and two-way stars like him can be the ultimate difference-makers come playoff time.
If George can continue to be a multidimensional scoring threat as well as a legitimate defender and rebounder, then the Pacers have a chance to make it all the way to the final round of the NBA playoffs. David West and Roy Hibbert are bigs who can hold their own inside and create mismatches on both ends of the floor, and George Hill and Lance Stephenson have become capable two-way players able to affect the game defensively and offensively.
George is the one piece to the puzzle who can change everything by being the player the Pacers can go to when the offense breaks down. He can be the clutch player for the Pacers. Being that guy consistently is just what the Pacers need to advance to the championship.