If the Indiana Pacers want any chance of defeating the Miami Heat and move on to the NBA Finals, they will need a healthy Paul George to do so. The good news for Indiana is that it appears George should be ready to play in Game 3 on Saturday night after suffering a concussion in Tuesday night’s loss.
George took a hard shot to the back of the head, courtesy of Dwyane Wade’s left knee. The blow left him with blurred vision and he was momentarily blacked out. However, George never relayed those symptoms to the team doctors, which is why he returned to the game. Now that the league knows he had a concussion, he must pass an examination in order to be cleared for Game 3.
A good sign is that George took part in a light practice on Thursday. He wore a red jersey in order to avoid all contact from teammates, and the Pacers made sure that he did not overexert himself. Fans may be excited to hear that George participated in practice, but Indiana head coach Frank Vogel wanted anyone who cared to listen that there is no guarantee that the team’s top scorer will be able to take the court tomorrow night.
At this point, the odds appear to be in the favor of George playing. However, the Pacers are taking every precaution just in case he is not able to.
“We are preparing for both (possibilities),” Vogel said, according to ESPN. “I think we have guys that can fill in, certainly not play at Paul’s level. But we would have to adjust the end result at the time, and I’m sure we will be able to do that.”
Many have the Heat defeating the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Let’s be honest, it is a good bet to make. With that being said, Indiana opened the eyes of many after their victory in Game 1, which means that this series is certainly up for grabs. The only way it falls in their favor is if George is able to play at a high level. He is not just their best offensive asset. He is what gives the other players confidence that they can beat the Heat and advance.