George’s vision blurs, Pacers fade

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com


VIDEO: Heat take control late in Game 2 to even series with Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS – Forty-five minutes after the final horn, David West sat in front of his locker-room stall, shirtless but still clad in the rest of his game gear. Out of the blue, the Indiana Pacers power forward pounded a fist into his other palm. “Damn!” he said to no one in particular.

Roy Hibbert trundled in from the shower a few minutes later. “It’s gonna be a lonnnng series,” the Pacers center said, and West nodded with a big “Uh huh.”

Both men were beat, physically and on the scoreboard, having invested pretty much everything in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference finals series against the Miami Heat, only to lose it late, 87-83.

Then there was Paul George. Indiana’s All-Star wing player was sprawled in his chair, still icing his knees and maybe in need of another pack on the back of his head. George, scrambling for a loose ball, had gotten kneed in the head by Miami’s Dwyane Wade, a scary moment for both teams with 6:50 left and the Pacers up 73-69.

George wound up worse for the collision: He blacked out momentarily, lying still as his coaches and the team’s medical staff came onto the court in a timeout. Then – in something he revealed only after the game – he suffered from blurred vision right through the final horn.

“I mean, I blacked out as soon as it happened,” George said afterward. “And then, the whole four or five minutes, however much time was remaining, I was just blurry. My eyes was blurry. I just tried to play through it.”

According to a Pacers spokesperson, the medical staff asked George – on the court and over on the bench – all the questions that pertained to the NBA’s official concussion protocol. George said he had no symptoms, other than pain in the back of his head from the blow itself. He was cleared to return and played the remainder of the game, finishing without another field goal, making 1 of 2 free throws and turning over the ball with 3:05 left and his team down 80-75.

After talking of the blurry vision later – neither coach Frank Vogel nor Hibbert knew George had experienced the issue – George went through the evaluation process again. And again, the Pacers reported, he passed. But George will be evaluated further, probably as soon as Wednesday, prior to Game 3 Saturday in Miami.

“I’ve had a couple hits to the head,” Hibbert said, “so I hope he’s all right.”

Fortunately for Indiana, it’ll have 96 hours between games as the series shifts to south Florida, time for George to mend as needed, time for all of them to recover physically and mentally from an especially grueling and gut-wrenching outcome.

The Pacers had gone “all in” on Game 2, riding the starters for heavy minutes. Even though they were aware of the three-day break coming up, gutting out this one was more about the shot at 2-0 they had against the two-time defending champions and how that might have transformed the series.

Never in the four postseasons of Miami’s Big Three era have the Heat faced a two-game deficit in a best-of-seven series. Not 2-0, not 3-1. Pushing LeBron James, Wade and the rest that far, well, had the Pacers eager to see how they might have responded.

Instead, the series is 1-1, familiar terrain for the Heat; they have won four series – vs. Chicago in 2011 and 2013, vs. Oklahoma City in the 2012 Finals and vs. San Antonio in last year’s Finals – after dropping the opener.

And it was Indiana stuck with some unprecedented reality: this was the first time this postseason that the Pacers have lost after leading through three quarters (1-7) and only the fourth time in 58 such situations since the start of the regular season.

It also marked the third straight game in which the Pacers’ starters all scored in double figures. That’s not only their longest such streak all season, it’s not nearly the positive you might think: When your bench gives you just nine points on 3-for-13 shooting in a combined 38 minutes, you stick with the ones that brung you.

Mostly, that meant Lance Stephenson (27 points), who carried Indiana’s attack for much of the night until, y’know, James and Wade happened late. George, however, was 1-for-11 in the first half while coping with Wade as his primary defender rather than James. After halftime, he was just 3-for-5.

West had his own ordeal, from his 5-for-16 shooting to an eye poke that sent him to the locker room briefly after George’s collision. He, too, returned, but the fourth quarter wound up a disaster anyway: 36.8 percent shooting, a 12-6 rebounding shortfall, defensive breakdowns and two killer turnovers just as the Heat, on their 10-0 run, were catching and passing the Pacers.

“There was a two-minute stretch there where they turned us over and got buckets,” West said. “Ultimately, it doomed us.”

To a man, the Pacers denied that they were gassed down the stretch, bothered either by the actual minutes or the intensity of them.

“Nah, we were good,” George said. “We started the game off flat, as far as shooting-wise. We really struggled putting the ball in the hole. We got great looks. But for the whole game … I didn’t feel like I was worn out, I was tired, anything.”

Said Vogel: “I thought Lance was a little gassed during one stretch – that’s why I got him a quick blow and got some other people some touches. Paul George has got to guard LeBron. He’s got to stay in there when [James is] in there. So he might have been a little bit, but I thought everybody else looked OK.”

Now they’ve got three days to reset, to rest, practice and clear their heads before Game 3 and, in George’s case, to get cleared yet again. Unfortunately for him and the Pacers, the next time the doctor examines him, he’ll only be holding up one finger instead of two.

83 Comments

  1. JimD54 says:

    If any of you want to see who is the King of Flop, go to youtube and search LeFlop…, seeing is believing…

    • TMac says:

      It looks like the “King of Flop” has protégés. Stephenson trying to take that title.

  2. Pacers guard Lance Stephenson was fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game Two.

    Stephenson, who had a game high 25 points, becomes the first player to be fined for flopping during the playoffs after embellishing a collision with LeBron James during the third quarter on Tuesday.

  3. Watch Wade's Dirty Plays says:

    I watched the replay 20 times last night, after the injury, and wade didnt even go for the ball. he clearly went to land on paul’s head and ended up kneeing him instead. he is a very dirty player that is always hurting other players and that moment changed the game. what i saw last night was miami give it their all and barely beat a team that had a poor shooting night. miami is in trouble. pacers got this

    • TMac says:

      How can Wade go for the ball when PG is fumbling with the ball and falling into Wade at the same time? PG lost control of the ball when he fell into Wade…..it was too late for Wade to go after the ball because he was already off balance and about to fall.

  4. Romeo says:

    Heat are trying to do everything not to lose the series, they know how overrated they are. I feel bad for George but its war, everything is fair. In the past games the Pacers have knocked Lebron to the ground, these guys know what is at stake.

  5. Jude says:

    Pacers were up by four points and Paul was in the process of stealing the Paul from Wade and going up another 2-3 points.

    If we remember Wade did to Lance Stephenson (last game of regular series) causing Lance to get upset and then smiling afterwards. Dwade called the refs to throw L Stephenson out of the game due to a 2nd technical foul.
    Wade KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING. HE CLEARLY DID IT ON PURPOSE. He knows how to get away with it.

    As you can see he took his knee and hit Paul George’s head hard the first time and took a second hit at Paul George’s head the second time with his shoe. Then Wade laid on the ground and started acting so he wouldn’t get a technical foul. The only harm that came to Wade leg was the impact of his leg hitting Paul George’s head. Plus Wade had a big hard pad on his leg. So I don’t know what the NBA will do about it. But just know this especially given Wade’s history against the Pacers. HE KNOWS WHAT HE DID and he did it on PURPOSE.

    Two shots to the head of a man that nearly stole the ball from him. Paul later said he didn’t move because he had BLACKED OUT. Also he said his vision was blurry for the rest of the fourth quarter. The Pacers lost by four points. These two cheap shots from Wade to Paul George’s head cost the Pacer’s that game.

  6. Edjumacator says:

    Is D. Wade a dirty player? Yes, and he’s a terrible dresser too. How can Pat Oily let him get away with it?

  7. Agudo says:

    OMFG people seem to forget that this ELITE Basketball, the best. Of course there are cheap shots, this the nature of the beast. If you cant deal with it, go play with your skylanders & pokemon cards. And for the record, what happened with PG & Wade in my opinion was an accident. But Cole definitely intended to poke West in the eye lol

  8. Wade__cheap_shot_artist_extrordinaire says:

    Wade has long history of trying to take guys out & well-disguised cheap shots (a few examples – Kobe broken nose @ 2012 All Star Game, Rondo elbow in 2011 Playoffs, Darren Collison clothesline in 2012 playoffs, Lance Stephenson elbow to head in 2013 playoffs).
    Many people agree he is a skilled cheap shot artist. Knowing this history, and looking at the replay, it’s hard not to conclude the 2nd contact w/leg is not fully intentional, which raises lots of questions about the 1st blow w/the left knee.
    Doesn’t help Wade’s case he writhed in “agony” like European soccer player then got up and scored repeatedly on drives down the stretch.
    He’s going to hurt someone else unless the league comes down on him, like he hurt Rondo & now PG.

  9. Hampus says:

    It pains me to see that in the year 2014, in the NBA, a players marketing value is of higher value than the love for the game, and fair-play. The NBA is with 100% certainty aware that this is not the first time a player has had an above average injury after colliding with Wade. Yet its no suprise he is not fined.

    Before anyone decide to reply me, type “im not a dirty player, Dwyane Wade” in the search field on youtube.

    You’ll be the judge.

    To me he has lost all respect ive had for this great player but not so great person.

    Peace

  10. Why.... says:

    Whenever a relevant player of the opposing team gets injured in a “tumble” in the playoffs aginst the Heat Wade always seems to be involved. How is that? Is he just clumsy or simply playing dirty? If it happens once, it is an accident, alright. Something like that happening again, however, no longer qualifies for an accident, especially if it is a knee (and a leg) to the head. And than twisting in pain like a soccer player after a “foul”, come on.

  11. Chris says:

    Once upon a time Pacer’s fans thought they would win the series

  12. TMac says:

    @chris….Wade drug his leg in order to kick/knee PG in the head?? I watched that clip over and over. The only think I realized is that PG didn’t dive for the ball…he tripped. PG suddenly tripped in front of Wade, so he tripped over PG awkwardly. I just don’t see the intend to cause PG harm because who is going to be thinking about dragging their leg to smash somebody in the head when they are falling over somebody and could possible hurt themselves in the process. Wade doesn’t have the best knees in the world. Wade is one false move away from hurting his knees again, so I doubt he would want to risk popping PG in the head and mess up his knee, which means he will be sitting on the bench.

  13. Blog-So-Hard-2014-NBA-Playoff-Edition says:

    PG was 1 for 11 early on, so I doubt that the concussion suffices the loss; Pacers were running out of gas half-way through the fourth quarter anyways.. However, by all means, doing “whatever it takes” to win is the slogan of champions (ergo, Wade’s 3 rings.)

  14. magic_mushroom says:

    haha keep hating on the heat. they will be the ones hoisting the championship banner and ya’ll know it. Indiana is a loser ville, check out the stats for their pro teams, always second best, colts or pacers they never gonna win the championship. ya’ll dont even go back to 2006 when they last won anything significant…. hahaha Pacers are Heat’s lil brother, as long as we gots the big 3 ya’ll are always gonna be 2nd best in the east.

  15. B.Down says:

    Just ask Rondo if he thinks D.Wade’s knee to PG’s head was innocent?

  16. i watched that game in 3rd Quarter I think Lance Flopped So Hard xD Get the Fine Going

  17. Fabbe STFU Please Don’t talk

  18. billybob says:

    I am so glad I did not watch the game.
    Sounds I did not miss anything.

  19. Livenston says:

    To the Pacers and Heat’s fans , please stop talking dirty, it’s just a Game where we are enjoying watching great talented players who make millions of dollars. Don’t hate each other even if we have different opinions, life is too short to waste the time by hating fans. God Bless you.

  20. TMac says:

    @Aaron G….bro, look at the play again. Wade was going for the ball and while Wade was trying to get position on PG for the ball, PG dove for the ball and in the process of diving for the ball, his body hits Wade’s legs, which caused Wade to fall over him. You can clearly see when PG dove for the ball his body made contact with Wade’s legs while Wade was trying to get to the ball. Yeah, Wade was looking at PG because PG dove and landed on the ball….but it isn’t like Wade couldn’t stop his momentum when PG suddenly dove for the ball. What do you people expect to happen when somebody suddenly dives on front of you with no warning??

  21. DeemtheDream says:

    Am I the only one who noticed the shotclock was reset on the jumpball in the 4th quarter? There was supposed to be 7 on the clock but it was reset to 24. Wasn’t this a mistake?!

  22. Another Heat Fan says:

    It’s interesting how so many people have Miami in 6. I don’t even have Miami in 6.

    I think whoever wins this has to win it in 7. I wish we would win it in 6, but these teams are so even I really doubt that’s gonna happen….

    Honestly, if we had Mike Miller this would be a completely different story. What’s the point of moving the ball if we can’t hit a big shot afterwards? We are still “good enough” to win a championship this year, but I don’t think we’re the favorites.

    We got lucky in game 2. Norris Cole made some shots he might otherwise not make. The Pacers defense broke down for 2 or 3 minutes in the 4th, and if that hadn’t happened they’d have won this game.

    It’s gonna be an interesting series. I have Miami in 7, but just barely.

    • Chris says:

      Not lucky when the league lets Lebron do whatever he wants. He never fouls out even though he drives to the basket more than anyone. Now the league is letting Wade knee peoples heads, ridiculous.

      • TMac says:

        So you are saying since Lebron drives to the basket more than anybody in the league, he should most liking foul out of games more often??

      • #dwade#flash says:

        chris how old are you?

  23. Nick says:

    I thought the Pacers would lose this game by the way most of them looked after winning the first game. They looked too happy. Seasoned, tough, veterans don’t look like that after winning the first game of a potential seven game series that even if they win is just one more step to the “real” series. Hibbert saying, “It’s going to be a long series.”, proves that, and is somewhat surprising. What did he expect?
    George said he wasn’t tired. I hope he’s just not admitting it because if he played the way he did down the stretch, and wasn’t tired, that would be worse. It would be an indication that only two games in with the defending champs he couldn’t stay up for the game. His play was definitely lackadaisical.

  24. Man says:

    I think Pacers will come strong in the next game and put this disaster behind them. I am still confident in the Pacers and I think they are undeterred and will win the series 4-3. The Pacers have always wanted to beat the Heat and this is there moment. Hopefully, Paul George is okay.
    #IND4-3

  25. Heatles says:

    Yeah you guys are right wade risked messing up his knee again on a guy who at that point was having a horrible game. Just think about it, it doesn’t make sense. As for flopping check out Lance in the third quarter bouncing off Lebron and then taking a nap on the court. Do the heat exaggerate to get fouls? Yes, but its part of the game. Players have been doing it since the beginning of time. Derek Rose snaps back his head every time he drives to the basket, but everyone still loves him. I really don’t get it.

  26. joe says:

    really idiotic comments from heat hatery.. grow up.. change to heat fans cause then you’ll win and stop bashing the best..

  27. vancityballer says:

    When the Heat play their lock down defense no one can beat them. They just have to go out and do that every night. And as for Canada, we’re not all going for Pacers. Heat will win in 6 games and we will see a rematch against one of the previous finals.

  28. heatfanfromPR says:

    Everybody loves to criticize Miami for their fans, their players, their “flops”, but any other team’s fans leaves the game before time expires and it’s all right, any other player that flop’s it’s all right. Indiana is a good team, but they rely too much on Paul George, when they really should be relying on David West, and Roy Hibbert if he was playing like he was playing at the start of the season. PG is not ready to be the superstar of the team, he is a good player and will be great. I got Miami in 6.

  29. southside1212 says:

    I love d wade and I am cheering for the heat in this series. but i can admit that knee looked a dirty play and when it happened i thought it was a turning point. while that one was bad, its part of what makes him a winner. physically, even though he isnt the tallest, hes unmatchable as an athlete and competitor. #flashfromthepast

    • TMac says:

      But why would Wade purposely want to hit somebody across the head with his knee when even the slightest bump on his knees will cause him problems??

  30. Fishstick says:

    Im just saying, whenever Joey Crawford refs LeBron games, he wins about 80 percent of them (look it up), Not hating, but observing. LeBron got away with some calls (charges) and flopping. That no call on the Dwade and Paul George incident was so-so, didnt look right but happened too fast. (You dont run over top someone for the ball over their head when the ball wasnt even over there) Also, both teams got away with moving screens, which refs dont call consistently anymore (NBA needs to fix that asap).

    • TMac says:

      Pacers get away with a lot, too.
      Both sides will get away with calls.
      However, Pacers were still in the game regardless of all the calls the heat might have gotten away with, so that is no excuse. Heat just out played them late in the 3rd into the 4th.

      • Chris says:

        TMAC, when you allow a player to leg drop another players head into the court, giving him a concussion, with no consequences, that effects the game. Heat are Hollywood and the NBA has created another Jordan for ratings.

    • 4xPlusMvpsPlusRings+Final Mvps says:

      Haha you obviously MAD. Join Miami fan base and you’ll stop whinninga start winning.

      One luv
      PS tell your team it’s ok to flop but napping on the floor like lance and Paul George did is not included.

    • so you mean Joey Crawford is the only referee officiate on that game?you’re so funny fishstick chistick whatever…i think you don’t know how to play your balls….lolz

      • so you mean Joey Crawford is the only referee officiate in that game?you’re so funny fishstick chistick whatever…i think you don’t know how to play your balls….lolz

  31. Jr. Samples says:

    Loved the chant “He’s a flopper” Wade and James could do Burger King commercials “Home of the floppers” These two take it to the hold flailing their arms like ragdolls praying that someone touches them. It is sad. I think Wade tweaked his knee on Georges head. He will be off Saturday.

    • TMac says:

      That’s funny because I could have sworn I seen a couple of Pacer players (namely George and Hill) throw their arms in the air while looking at the refs wanting a call when they were stripped of the ball or getting blocked. Pot calling the kettle black.

    • Chris says:

      What a stupid comment. The Pacers are one of the dirdiest teams in the NBA and I saw several of their players flop in game 2

    • 4xPlusMvpsPlusRings+Final Mvps says:

      So true DRUM ROLLS FOR YOU! Were you that blind to notice that the entire INDY team was acting!!! And ohh did you notice the MASTER FLOPPER get the $5K grand prize for best actor!!!

  32. Fade_to_Black says:

    Good hit.
    1-1.

  33. GREGORY INGRAM says:

    hello

  34. Heatles says:

    You Really think Wade banged his KNEE on purpose. The same knee he has had issues with for the whole second half of his career. I really doubt it.

  35. Ryan says:

    Why would he stay in the game if he was too bad to contribute anything? Obviously he has a competitors spirit and wants to try but look at his numbers. With 6:50 left in the game, after a few min of not being able to do well he should have checked himself out and let someone that is healthy come in, especially with the game so close. That could have been the difference in the loss. This just seems like a very selfish move to me.

    • TMac says:

      Well you know Hibbert did say there were some selfish dudes on the Pacers team. I don’t think he said that out of anger…I believe he said it because it is true.

  36. CM says:

    lance is a FLOPPER!!!!!

  37. Jay says:

    Indy Fans yelling flopper when Lebron was shooting free throws…. How about Lance?! haha… that was the best flop ever, followed by good acting skills!

  38. Alexander Wells says:

    why no mention of lebron’s flopping of the year

  39. Heat BB Fan says:

    Why no mention of Stephenson’s “Flopping Nap” lol

    Why no mention of the Indy fans pouring out of the Arena with minutes still left on the clock??

    People love to bash Heat Players and Fans….. how about equal time??

  40. ROMULO CATOR says:

    Basketball is a game of physical toughness. To endure the game you gotta be tough.

  41. LordP says:

    Where are the Haters???they disappeared..lol You guys are worse than Flies

  42. sally says:

    I guess “Boy George ” decided the blurry vision thing might get him a good excuse for missing all those shots. What a bunch of babies on this team, Somebody has put a bug in their ear about faking all these injuries so they can get flagrants called on them but I think they are kind of over doing it …wow..Stevenson gets hit goes down starts to get up then lays back down and closes his eyes ???? Give me a break folks !!! Thank God Joey Crawford is the great referee that he is and sees through it. Give it up Indiana, it won’t get you the championship, that’s going to the Heat….sorry !!! Go Heat

  43. theholyspectator says:

    lol @ lance flopping at the end of the game.

  44. ROMULO CATOR says:

    Now, let the games begin!!!

  45. Bird33 says:

    To Big Roy, PG, D West, Lance and all

    We’re cheering for you in Canada – Go Pacers! Go Legend!!

  46. Fabbe says:

    Wade is a DIRTY player. He wrestled down Rondo In playoffs few years ago and broke his arm. What Wade mean by “finding a way” to win is kick other players in the back, knee them in the head or break their arm.
    He is The Dirtiest active player in NBA

    • JW2 says:

      this is just stupid
      and not even coming from a heat fan

    • mack says:

      KG is the dirtiest active player then ron artest lol idiot

    • An Idiot says:

      they were going for the loose ball. it was just a matter of positioning.

    • Chris says:

      Obviously a guy with hurt knees WANTS to knee someone in the head… You might be the dumbest active person on this site

      • FUTURECELTIC says:

        Ya but Wade said win any way possible an hes done stuff like this before too, putting his body on the line to injure the best player on the other team. Like with Rondo and Pierce. I mean if Pacers lose PG, they are pretty much screwed, but if Miami loses Wade, they have two great players in Bosh and LeBron who can pick up for him. Its not like Lance and West and Hibbert are gonna make it to all star game any time soon, unlike bosh and LeBron

      • jhun_dino2000@yahoo.com says:

        this guy fabble doesn’t know anything try not to watch basketball man watch swimming or do hulla hoops ur gay

      • PM says:

        Even if he were a dirty player, it is not feasible to get away with intentionally hurting other players while the whole world and NBA officials watching, so no player at this level would risk their career. I have been watching Wade for years now, and I’ve never felt he is a dirty player. I even sometime feel he needs to be more aggressive when his team needs him.

      • Aaron G. says:

        Watch where Wade’s eyes go on the replay. He took his eyes off the ball to look his knee right into the back of PG’s head. He is not even attempting to look for the ball. He is as bad as Isiah Thomas was back in the day. DIRTY and CHEAP. Which is exactly the type of player all you fair weather fans love!

      • LOL says:

        hahahahah @ aaron!! keep on hatin!

    • TMac says:

      He didn’t break Rondo’s arm…it dislocated, bro.