We have some keys to victory for the Pacers already posted up, but I wanted to look at one player who can drive the Pacers to this victory tonight. I am looking right at the NBA’s Most Improved Player, Paul George. He’s already got the hardware, time to have another great performance like Sunday’s game. If he can even shoot the ball better, tonight could be another break out game for Paul George. I don’t know if he’ll produce the triple double number again, but he should definitely be in that range of 20 points 10 rebounds. A double double is almost expected with the way George is around the basket so much as a defender. Once again, if shots are falling for George, 20 points is an easy mark to make.
The key is being that aggressive type again. I think he needs to look more for driving to the lane, and getting to the free throw line if he can’t make a basket. There’s no one to really defend George, so he should be able to drive on guys. If he can get that going, I have no problem with him living at that free throw line, especially if he’s going to make another 17 out of 18 there.
Another key to look for is George’s defense. He garnered some first place votes for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, but still finished 8th overall. I don’t think a lot of people see how well George defends. It’s that length that he has that can make life miserable for guys. He can also body up a guy, and really make someone work for their own shot. You do that enough, and you’ll find it hard to make shots.
Finally, the confidence of Paul George has grown so much, and I believe tonight we’ll see more of that. I think George understands what this first round could do for him in the long run. I keep saying that guys get known for playoff performances, and I believe George’ game one performance already earned him one of the top Pacers’ performances for the playoffs. How does he follow that up will be seen tonight. I believe he’ll want to shoot the ball better, but still look for that aggressive driving. If he can get both areas working, another great performance should be happening.