Early on this season, it looked like Paul George was in the running for an MVP trophy. George was as high as fourth in the NBA in scoring average while also holding firm with his perimeter defense.
Scoring wasn’t even half of it; George is one of the best rebounding wings in the league and has no problem racking up the assists, either. The next step for the Indiana Pacers’ lone all-star from a season ago and reigning Most Improved Player was maintaining consistency.
That has undoubtedly proved to be George’s biggest weakness. His turnovers are also reason for concern, but that comes hand-in-hand with a player that handles the ball as much as George does.
The 23-year-old found himself in a shooting slump to start 2014. George was averaging 16.5 points over the Pacers’ first six games of the new year, compared to 23.2 overall through 39 games. While he did have games of 24 and 28 points during the stretch against New Orleans and Atlanta, respectively, he shot a combined 19-49 in the two contests. Overall, George shot 34-99 (34.3%) during the six-game stretch. Indiana did escape with a 4-2 record.
Safe to say George has dug his way out of that mess, as have the Indiana Pacers.
A projected starter in February’s All-Star game in New Orleans, George has helped Indiana win their last four games, all at home. The Pacers owned an average margin of victory of +23.25 in those games. George scored 30+ points twice and averaged 30.7 points in the last three, shooting 30-52 (58%) overall.
Did I mention he threw down this dunk-of-the-year nominee on Saturday?
George’s outstanding play in the last week earned him Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for games played January 13 through January 19.
There is much to be proud of in the 6’9″ Paul George. Indiana will need similar efforts from PG as the team departs for a five-game Western Conference road trip against some of the league’s best offensive teams. First game of the trip is tonight at Golden State (10:30 p.m. tip).