The second year wing has made large strides since his rookie year, Paul George has arrived. Drafted 10th Overall in the 2010 Draft by the Indiana Pacers, the 6’8 wing came out of Fresno State University. George was considered one of the better wings in that draft class, the only knock on him was his thin build. At Fresno St, he was a very good offensive player. Leading up to the draft, George reminded some of a younger Tracy McGrady due to his frame and athleticism. Sadly, most didn’t expect much out of the kid out of Fresno St. In his rookie year, George did what was asked of him; he was the Pacers defensive stopper more or less. He often came off the bench to guard the opposing team’s best perimeter player. Blessed with elite athleticism George is able to guard multiple positions, from the 1 to the 4( PG-PF). In just 20 min a game last year; he averaged 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal a game. George shot 45% from the field, 29% from three, and 76% from the foul line per Synergy Sports. That wasn’t bad for a rookie on a playoff team at all, George drew the assignment of guarding last year’s MVP Derek Rose in a first round Playoff matchup. The Pacers did lose the series, but George made an impact on the defensive end by causing problems for the insanely athletic Rose.
Fast forward to this year, George is showing the NBA that he is just as effective on the offensive end as well. Thus far in his sophomore campaign, George has improved in every statistical category. He’s averaging 11.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2,4 assists, and 1.2 steals. George is shooting 47.5% from the floor, 48.2% from three, and 85% from the line per Synergy Sports. Let’s delve a little deeper so that we can appreciate the growth of George’s game this year. He’s turned into a deadly spot up shooter from beyond the arch, shooting a blistering 48.9% in those opportunities( 23 of 47). Even deadlier in transition is George from three, knocking down 53.8%(7 of 13) in those chances! George is not just a shooter though as he can get to the basket as well, he’s gotten the job done in iso situations as well. George is shooting 46.7% from the field when he’s isolated, he’s also equally adept at cutting and finishing at the basket as well.
Last night in Dallas, George had his coming out party against the reigning NBA Champions. Paul went off for 30 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 1 block! He was extremely efficient en route to his career high; shot 11 of 19 from the floor, including 7 of 11 from beyond the arch. The kid hit SEVEN three pointers, he played 41 minutes and DID NOT TURN THE BALL OVER ONCE. George is the Pacers starting shooting guard this season, they are 16-6 and he has a lot to do with that. Obviously the presence of Danny Granger, David West, and Roy Hibbert stand out. George has done more than just “fit in” this season, keep an eye on him as this season goes on. The Pacers have their hands on an up and coming star; the league doesn’t know it yet, but they will.
I was a huge fan of George going into the 2010 draft, ironically he reminds me of the situation Roscoe Smith found himself in at Uconn. They were both talented wings who gave themselves up for the needs of the team, it’s great to see George blossom offensively this year. This is just the beginning, what do you think of the job Paul George has done this year?
Leave your thoughts/comments below and I’ll definitely respond, thanks for reading!!