Paul George Riding A Special Hot Streak


VIDEO: Check out Paul George’s top 10 plays of the season

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – By late Friday night, the next move had become obvious.

Vegas.

Immediately.

“Yeah,” Paul George agreed. “I should. And put a million or something down on 24.”

Obviously on 24. It’s George’s Pacers uniform number, and it’s becoming George’s world by the day. Ride the hot streak. Put down a million. Put down the “or something.” Just put it on two-four and keep pressing the bet.

Thursday morning, George was named to the initial Team USA pool of candidates for the 2014 World Cup of Basketball and the 2016 Olympics, a list that will likely be tweaked over the months and years but barring injury will include the Indiana small forward with the high character to match the MVP-level talent. Thursday evening, he was announced as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, obviously deserved but an affirmation of his rising profile. Later that night, George scored 26 points in Phoenix, even if it went to waste as the Suns won 124-100.

Then, Friday. The winningest team in the league by percentage was staring at a second consecutive bad loss, with the blowout in Arizona about to be followed not only by a defeat to the Kings, but a defeat to the Kings without the injured DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. Sacramento led by 17 points in the second quarter and by four with 18.3 seconds remaining in the fourth. The Pacers called timeout.

They came out and got the ball to George, who hit a 26-footer from the right side with 15.1 seconds left. With a foul being called on the defender, Derrick Williams. George swished the free throw. Four-point play. Overtime.

George scored nine points in the final quarter of regulation and eight more in the five-minute extra period, making a combined six of nine shots in that time as part of finishing with 36 points. He had two steals in overtime, including a strip of Isaiah Thomas with 15.9 showing to clinch what became a 116-111 Indiana escape, a 6-foot-9 forward flat out picking the pocket of an experienced 5-foot-9 ball handler.

Not a bad couple days, from Thursday morning to Friday night with two resume-building announcements, 62 points and 75 minutes.

“It’s been tough,” he said.

Tough? League-wide accolades, big scoring numbers and clutch performances were tough?

“It’s been real tough,” George replied after the Kings game. “Going into Phoenix, battling a team that was ready for us, and then coming out tonight with another hot team, it’s tough and we’ve got to understand that teams are going to be ready for us.”

OK. But the new status, in popularity and performance. The great finish Friday.

“That’s been good,” George said. “It’s been a balance of both. It’s been awesome. I put a lot of work into this year, into this season, and just overall in being better as a person. It’s good that everything’s starting to pay off for me. It makes me want to get better every day.”

That chance comes tonight in Denver (9 ET, League Pass) , a tough travel back-to-back, at altitude and against Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, a Pacers assistant before this season. George is at 23.6 points a game, eighth in the league and has a new status of stardom after the Thursday double. Part of betting on him is the 53.7 percent from the field and 45.9 percent on 3s the last five games.

No casino runs, in other words. He is needed elsewhere.

“Definitely not,” teammate George Hill said. “We’ve got to focus. We got a big game ahead of us (Saturday). Then after that he can probably go to Vegas.”

27 Comments

  1. h8ersgunnahate says:

    Haha Paul George overrated? he is finally getting his recognition as a great player in the nba and has made quite the leap this year and has progressively been getting better. I have liked him since he came into the nba. He has always been a good defender but now he is even better and his consistency is getting better offensively as well. He is a very good all around player and is still learning on how to be a team captain or floor general. Paul George will have many more years to perfect his game in the nba I look forward to watching him rise as an all star.

  2. JustTheStr8Facts says:

    lol – Paul George is definitely not overrated. Haters gonna hate.. that about sums up the overrated bs.

  3. Duke says:

    Ok i am not liking the talk that paul george is overrated cause he is not he is only getting the praise he deserves for having a good season. people keep saying 23 ppg are not mvp worthy and it is true with that being the only stat being looked at. Scoring points is not the only thing that makes you a MVP, winning your team games makes you MVP worthy. If it was just points that mean melo and durant should have been MVP over lebron the last few years. But back to the point paul george is playing great in his role on indiana, he scores when needed and is always active on defense, and always shown to be a good teammate and leader well at least on the court though i have never heard anything off the court. And that is what makes him MVP “Canidate” worthy. not saying he will beat out Lebron on Durant just giving him the acknowledgement he deserves for his play just like they are doing for steph curry and aldridge. So i harp on this again it is not the scoring but producing numbers that lead your team to victory. to include he is doing those 23 ppg on a 46% fg rating with almost 40% 3pt add the 2 steals a game with the 6 boards and 3 ast making him again MVP Worthy.

  4. KING GEORGE says:

    PG is not overrated, he is just doing what he can do to help his team, same as every other player in the Pacers roster. What did KD do in his 4th year in the league? Scoring champ and then playoff loss to LA and Dallas? I bet you say the same thing as KD is overrated. None of you all expected the rise of Indiana, its all about player development. Pacers did a good job on developing Granger, Stephenson, Hibbert and George. KD couldnt even guard lebron and couldnt do nothing against the Heat could only win 1 game. Pacers drove the Heat to 7 games being in the leauge for only 3 years (im sure you have excuses like, pacers have hibbert. Stop crying and just appreciate the new Powerhouse in the East and the superstar as KingGeorge24). Besides George was drafted 10th in the league compared to KD who is 2nd and LBJ 1st.

  5. kevin says:

    and to the people who resort to the “you only like the pacers cuz they are winning” i don’t see how ppl think that they have the right to say what team someone likes or not but anyways i been pacer fan since the reggie, smitts, davis brother days so does that increase my credibility? lol funny trolls…and in fact im a fan of anyteam that is not miami heat or okc :) i pray this is the year that ppl quit sweating lebrons nuts…pray-pray-pray-pray

  6. Saggy B says:

    PG needs to practice lifting weights

  7. hellon says:

    I agree that PG is overrated.Too many shooting slumps,and it’s not only PG…I can’t see Pacers as 2014 champs. I think Heat or OKC will win 2014 Finals.

  8. pacersbandwagon says:

    funny cuz all these so called pacers fans weren’t here last year or did even care till this year cuz they have a better record its reall funny.

  9. Fellow72 says:

    Paul George is really good don’t get me wrong, but is he overrated? Yes, a little. It’s fairly simple really, he has a very well rounded team in comparison to other franchise players. Put Kevin Durant or Lebron on Indiana in Paul George’s place, not only would they have the best record, there would be no foreseeable way for them not to win a championship. Put Paul George on OKC as they currently are in place of durant, and there is no possible way for Paul George to keep OKC as the best team in the league. Put him on Miami in place of lebron, and he’d have a much lower chance of winning a ring than lebron did.

    It isn’t fair to his team to give Paul as much credit as he is getting. 23 ppg aren’t MVP numbers. All it shows you is that he has a good enough team where he doesn’t have to put up 25ppg a night which would technically speak about his value to his team in comparison to other players. Paul George isn’t as valuable to the pacers as Durant is to OKC, and meanwhile OKC has the better record.

    LMA is a better and more deserving candidate than George as well. It sad how nba politics won’t allow deserving players like LMA have their shine.

  10. okc2014 says:

    Tim, I am OKC2014 because OKC will win the championship for 2014. But I recognize talent when I see it, even if it’s not for the teams I am rooting for (OKC & Hawks fan). As an OKC fan, I’m not threatened by Paul George. There is room for everyone to be a star, up to the Finals match. Then may the best men win. Go Thunder!

  11. kevin says:

    and lance as far as i can see is a lock for most improved player

  12. kevin says:

    i just love how they play..last night was such a good game and they won that game on defense first half was hard to watch but to clamped down in second half when needed…i just love there defense..i think george is deserving of MVP i realy think that since the league takes scoring so much over anything else if george bumped up his average to 27-29 ppg he would be a shoe in or at least on even ground against durant. just by .02 GO PACERS!

  13. okc2014 says:

    This is the year of Paul George-and he deserves it all and then some. Go Pacers.

    • Tim says:

      why is your name okc2014 but you’re saying go pacers

      • Pakyaw says:

        Coz okc have no chance to beat the heat ,if they meet again in the finals..,so he want some team (pacers) to knock them off… Am I right okc2014?..

  14. TROYBOY says:

    Good choice but Scottie will always be in the shadow of Jordan making him a secondary superstar. His offensive skillset is not elite though.

    • vera says:

      you kidding? you might want to check out Pippen’s performace while MJ is away on a temporary retirement. he carried the bulls by himself to the playoffs. yes, no rings without MJ. but the same goes for MJ, no rngs without Pippen.

    • #dwade#flash says:

      Scottie not elite offensive skill set? ummmmmmm you kidding right?

    • asdf says:

      Pippen led Bulls to a 55-win season when Jordan was not playing, and everybody says that he would have led them to the Finals or at least ECF if not for the “foul” called on Pippen in Game 5 of ECSF. He might not have been as great as Jordan, but he was elite in every aspect of the game.

  15. TROYBOY says:

    Paul George is “A defender that can put the ball in the basket”.

    I’ve been trying to think of another superstar in the history of the NBA that can be labeled the same. All of the superstars I came around are usually superstars because of their offensive skillset. Some would say…Lebron James. But he came in the league as a Freak of Nature offensively. He start showing his defensive skillset right away (probably better than George) but is never known for a ” defense first” type of player.

    I would like to find another player that can be labeled as such. If not, then we should all appreciate this guy…A Defender that has elite offensive skills.