3. More of a hypothetical question: Pick one or the other, would you rather Paul George become and elite shutdown defender or elite scorer?
Tom Lewis: My initial instinct is to take elite scorer, assuming PG would still be a quality defender. But if it is all one and none of the other, I’d go with elite defender for PG because the Pacers need all of the defensive help that they can get, especially on the perimeter.
Nathan S.: If we assume George is where he is now and won’t improve on either side? Scoring. The troubles against the Heat were less about what an elite defender could do against two of the league’s best, but about getting points when they needed to punch back toLeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Having George become an elite scorer in that situation could shift the tides of a series.
Ian Levy: Elite defender, no question. Elite defenders are much more rare and much more difficult to compensate for when you don’t have one. My biggest concern though with how this question shakes out is George being willing to throttle back his defensive intensity to devote more attention to his performance at the offensive end. People may not remember but Danny Granger stood out during his first few seasons for being a dogged defender who could cover multiple positions. As more shots were available to him his defense became a smaller and smaller part of his game. I would love to see George continue to develop as an offensive player, and really the sky is the limit there. I just hope he doesn’t have to give up his defense to do it.
Tags: Paul George Defense