Everything seemed to be going great for the Indiana Pacers heading into the fourth quarter. I mean, anytime a team can have the lead against the Miami Heat in the playoffs with only 12 minutes left on the clock is a good sign. Unfortunately, the Pacers faltered down the stretch, which allowed the Heat to tie up the series 1-1. As disappointing as it may be, there is one solid aspect Indiana can take away from the contest.
Paul George was a beast for the Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The team knows that if they want to deny the Heat a NBA Finals berth, it will be George who will have to step up in every game. Even though the small forward did not light up the scoreboard in Game 2, he provided other ways to help the team.
One of the biggest ways was George showing toughness after taking a hard shot to the back of the head, courtesy of Dwyane Wade’s left knee. George claims that he blacked out briefly and also had blurred vision. To be honest, I thought for sure he had a concussion. The way Wade’s knee connected with the back of George’s head, which was also responsible for his head then bouncing off the floor, did not look good. However, Indiana’s trainer checked him out and revealed that he was good to return to the game.
It was obvious that George was in plenty of pain, but the fact that he continued to play should motivate his teammates to raise their game going forward in the series. Hopefully, tests that will be run on George in the ensuing days will not reveal a concussion so that he can continue to suit up.
Last year’s Eastern Conference Finals was epic between the Pacers and the Heat, and there’s no reason why that can’t be the same this time around. The hustle that George and Wade displayed on that single play proves that Game 3 will be can’t-miss television.