Some players showing early progress/SI.com PG mentioned
Some players showing early progress
Paul George, G-F, Indiana Pacers
Indiana’s blowout loss to the Heat was a reminder that growth comes slowly, in fits and starts, at the NBA level. George shot just 4-of-11, turned the ball over four times and looked unsure of himself as a ball-handler — a role the Pacers have asked him to play more this season.
But this kind of forced variety is good in the long run. Everyone knows by now that George has started on fire from three-point range (15-of-24 this season after shooting 29.7 percent last year), but the other stuff is just as important. Until and unless Darren Collison jumps a level, it’s important for the Pacers to have options on the perimeter. George has looked decent running occasional pick-and-rolls, he’s getting to the line a bit more, dishing more assists and even emerging as a post-up option against smaller guards — a category that includes just about every guard.
Last year, George was a defender searching for any role at all on offense. He has a role now, even if he and the team are still figuring out precisely what it is.
Re: Some players showing early progress/SI.com PG mentioned
I love PG24's 3pt shooting this year, but with his size, he really should work on the post-up moves against other SGs. He got worked over by Ray Allen last night, and it would've been nice to see him take Ray to the block and at least make him work on defense a bit more. Making Ray chase you off of screens is nothing because Ray is that kind of player anyways. Take him out of his element and out muscle him down low. I don't think there's another SG in the NBA that could block PG24 on a turn-around jumper on the block.
George has looked decent running occasional pick-and-rolls, he’s getting to the line a bit more, dishing more assists and even emerging as a post-up option against smaller guards — a category that includes just about every guard.
I've been cautious but encouraged by PG24, and I hope it continues. I won't expect him to ever be Kobe, but there's a good chance he is going to be what we all hope for by next year. That is a guy who can create, defend, shoot from anywhere, and score the ball when and how he wants. If he develops into that, we are set.
Nice to see him getting some love, even without gaudy stats.