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View Full Version : Star: A lot to learn for George



focused444
10-13-2010, 07:53 AM
Mike Wells

Indystar.com

http://www.indystar.com/article/20101013/SPORTS04/10130344/1062/SPORTS04/Pacers-George-has-a-lot-to-learn-during-preseason


Indiana Pacers rookie Paul George has had a lot of things thrown at him during his first NBA training camp.

Learning how to move without the ball on offense. Filling the lane on the fast break. Having active hands and knowing how to help on defense.

George, the No. 10 pick in this year's draft, has handled all those challenges so far.

Then there is his shooting.

The former Fresno State standout is 3-of-21 from the field in the preseason, 1-of-7 on 3-pointers.

George will try to improve on those numbers tonight when the Pacers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at Conseco Fieldhouse.

"Things are going pretty well except my shot," said George, who hit 45 percent from the field in his two college seasons. "I don't normally get off to slow starts like that. I was always good at finding my groove early. It's been a hard time for me."

The Pacers aren't overly concerned.

Coach Jim O'Brien said George is taking shots within the system, but George is having to soak in as much information as he can, affecting his focus while shooting.

"When your mind is occupied with where you're supposed to be prior to getting the ball, how to set your man up for a screen down, it can be a little overwhelming," O'Brien said. "There's so much going on in his mind that it prevents him from playing in a natural flow. When you're not playing with a natural flow, you're not going to shoot the basketball as well as you normally would.

"There's no way to shortcut things for rookies when it comes to processing things offensively and defensively. Their mind is elsewhere when they're shooting the ball."

George has not disappointed in other facets of his game.

He's active defensively, often making it difficult for the offensive player to get a clean look to pass the ball into the post. George also has good defensive instincts. He aggressively gets into the passing lane to try for a steal or to deny his man the ball.

The coaches appreciate having to offer instructions just once.

"There are so many things you can do in college that don't work in the NBA," George said. "I'm just trying to adjust to that, as well as adjust to the different coaching schemes and getting ready to go up against the best players every night."

O'Brien said he thinks George would play in a potential 10-player rotation this season.

"He's got a chance to be really special," Pacers swingman Mike Dunleavy said. "I've been around a lot of draft picks between the 8-13 range in my career. He has the tools and skill set to get it done. It's a matter of how quick he can pick up on things and get used to playing at this level. He's got it all."

Dunleavy, who will be pushed by George for playing time on the wing, has taken a big-brother role with the rookie. Dunleavy is adept at explaining how to get open shots in O'Brien's offensive system.

"I do say a lot to him," Dunleavy said. "He'll ask me a lot of questions. I know he has a million things coming at him from the coaching staff, but I still tell him things that will hopefully stick with him."

I like this by Dunleavy.

Putnam
10-13-2010, 08:17 AM
This is a positive story, both as regards George himself and as regards Dunleavy's willingness to mentor him. But I do have this question:



Learning how to move without the ball on offense. Filling the lane on the fast break. Having active hands and knowing how to help on defense.


How much of that should an NBA rookie still need to learn? I understand that there's a lot that needs to be customized to a new coach. It doesn't surprise me that the "moving without the ball" part is different here than elsewhere. But the other things listed above seem like fundamentals.

Oftentimes, people will say college ball is more fundamental, while the NBA entertains by sheer talent. But here we have a college standout who needs to learn the fundamentals in order to make it in the NBA. What gives?

Anthem
10-13-2010, 08:42 AM
How much of that should an NBA rookie still need to learn? I understand that there's a lot that needs to be customized to a new coach. It doesn't surprise me that the "moving without the ball" part is different here than elsewhere. But the other things listed above seem like fundamentals.

Oftentimes, people will say college ball is more fundamental, while the NBA entertains by sheer talent. But here we have a college standout who needs to learn the fundamentals in order to make it in the NBA. What gives?
It's just an article, man. We saw George "having active hands and knowing when to help on defense" in summer league and in all of the camp videos. He already had those skills, although he's certainly improving on them. Also in SL, we saw him fill the lane on a fast break.

The only skill I've not already seen is his ability to move without the ball on offense, which is something that rookies often have a hard time with (because they've often been the best player on their team for their entire lives).

The fact that he's learning more about those things doesn't mean that he didn't already have a lot of that when he got here.

pacer4ever
10-13-2010, 09:59 AM
It's just an article, man. We saw George "having active hands and knowing when to help on defense" in summer league and in all of the camp videos. He already had those skills, although he's certainly improving on them. Also in SL, we saw him fill the lane on a fast break.

The only skill I've not already seen is his ability to move without the ball on offense, which is something that rookies often have a hard time with (because they've often been the best player on their team for their entire lives).

The fact that he's learning more about those things doesn't mean that he didn't already have a lot of that when he got here.

Paul was the best player at freson by a long shot. So it will take time for him to get use to not having the ball in his hands.