Paul George Where’s the Swagger?


April 9, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) holds a pose after making a three pointer against theCleveland Cavaliers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Cleveland 99-94. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With all the bad shooting the Pacers have been doing, Paul George has been right there in a slump. It’s just been the past few games, but not exactly the best time for that.  With the playoffs coming around, George and the Pacers need to be firing on all cylinders   If George isn’t in top shape, I can’t see this Pacers team going that far.  He’s been such a leader for this team, especially on the offensive side at times.  But then again, he gets called upon to guard the best defensive player.  If one side is lacking, hopefully he picks it up on the other end.  We saw that in the Houston game, where shots were falling for Paul. But he made life miserable for who he was guarding.  Come playoff time, he’s going to be asked to do a lot, and I hope he’s ready for it.

Tonight could be a great way to get back into the groove with the game at home against the Brooklyn Nets.  This could be the game, where his offensive side needs to come alive.  Especially in front of the home crowd, where it will be rocking and rolling.  At home he’s right around 19 points game, and I would love to see him get a 20 point game as he’s not hit for that since April 1st against the Clippers.  If he can get that and even more, the Pacers should be in great shape.

But the playoffs will be where George is going to make his mark.  We all know a player is only as good as his playoff stats go.  Ask Lebron James about that. He can be a beast all season, but if he goes out and loses in the playoffs, he’s going to be criticized to no end.  Paul George isn’t at that level yet, but the Pacers team could be greatly criticized if they don’t perform.  George will be a player for that.  He’s going to have to make a huge impact for the Pacers to do something.  If he wants to make that leap to the next level, this coming playoffs could go a long way to establishing that. He could make a name for himself if he can continue his scoring and defensive presence.

Tonight needs to happen for George.  Only a few games left in the season after this.  Not much time to sit back and say oh I’ll get back on tomorrow.  Normally, I would write an open letter to Mr. George, but this is more of  a plea to say hey find your game.  Find your groove.  Make some points.  Play some defense, and get the team back to where they need to be.  Beating a playoff team like the Nets could help the Pacers and George regain some mojo.  No waiting till the fourth quarter like last game out.  Time to come out of the gates with a passion.  It’s all about the Blue Collar Gold Swagger.  But George is missing that swagger, and he needs to find it.