The Indiana Pacers nearly suffered a big loss when it was revealed that small forward Paul George suffered a concussion towards the end of Game 2 against the Miami Heat. The good news for the Pacers is that their top scorer has been officially cleared to suit up for Game 3, which means the Heat could find themselves in a bit of trouble.
I will not go as far as to say Indiana has the edge over Miami, especially since they will be on the road Saturday night. However, there is no denying that George gives the Pacers a boost of confidence that no other player on the team provides. Not to mention, his dominance in Game 1 is what helped lead Indiana to victory. If he can play 40 healthy minutes in the third game of the Eastern Conference Finals then Miami will find itself in the midst of a hearty challenge.
The 24-year-old, who is averaging a team-high 41.3 minutes during the playoffs, is someone Indiana cannot do without if it wants to make its dream of clinching an NBA Finals berth become a reality. Obviously, he is best known for his offensive presence as evidenced by his 21.5 points per game during the postseason. However, George is also capable of getting under Miami’s skin on defense.
George suffered the injury after he took a hard shot to the back of the head, courtesy of Dwyane Wade’s left knee. His head also bounced off the court after it made contact with Wade’s knee, which is when the concussion could have occurred. The blow left him with blurred vision and he was momentarily blacked out. Of course, that is something he stated later that he wished he had kept to himself.
The first two games in the series were as intense as can be, which is why fans can expect the same in Game 3. It will be interesting to see how much the Pacers play George considering they will need him to remain healthy for the ensuing games.