May 17, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) goes up for a dunk against Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Paul George Will Step Up His Game

Continuing the look at the Pacers that I feel need to improve and show off what they can do, as today I look at Paul George.  He did have a good season, one that had him a part of All-Star Weekend in the Rising Stars Challenge and the Slam Dunk Contest.  He had a career high of 30 points in a game against Dallas and had 7 three pointers in that game tying Reggie Miller’s game high for threes.  Not bad company to be in.

But Paul George seemed to lose something after the All-Star and wasn’t as consistent as needed to be for the shooting guard position.  I thought he was like early Danny Granger and would settle for his shot too often.  With his athletic ability, he needs to work on his ball handling skills and take it to the basket more often.  He knows how to finish at the basket, so hopefully this coming season, he’ll learn how to get there.

The other area that he’ll have to improve upon is his defense. He’s got some great length on him that could cause problems for smaller guards.  Putting a hand in their face during a shot.  Getting your hand on the ball as they make passes.  Those are a couple of the areas that I know he can improve upon.

This will be Paul George’s third year, and I think we’ll really start to see what he can do.  Last season he did start every game at shooting guard, and with the starting lineup in tact, he’ll be doing that again.  It’s key that he learns where the best opportunities are to score.  If he can get that together, he should be a better score.  His scoring average did jump up to 12 points a game from 7 points a game his rookie season.  If he can get up to 15 points each game, that would go a long way for his position.  He could be another option that the Pacers have.

That could be their biggest strength for this season having plenty of guys who can get a basket.  Danny Granger, David West, Roy Hibbert, and even George Hill can score at will.  So look for George to help out the offense in that starting lineup.  The biggest thing I want to see from him is that he won’t disappear from games, and truly be engaged at all times.  That’s where I felt like he would struggle. He wouldn’t get many shots and seemed to not be in the flow of the offense.

He should be able to work with the starters and even become a better player than what he is, which is a good thing.  I am looking forward to the next season, and seeing what his game is like in his third outing.

What do you expect from Paul George this coming season?

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