resh off his first All-Star appearance and 27 points in a blowout of the New York Knicks, Pacers forward Paul George joined the Jim Rome Show on Thursday. While his breakout season has been a surprise for some, it hasn’t been for George, who credits much of his growth to Indiana associate head coach Brian Shaw.
“Me and B Shaw share a very special relationship,” said George. “He really comes to me and I can come to him, we talk about everything – how I can get open, how I can be more efficient, what I’m not seeing on the floor.”
Shaw doesn’t just bring experience as a player and coach, he brings some very specific experience – being around Kobe Bryant.
“He’s been around Kobe, who’s the one I looked up to,” said George. “Anytime that I’m not pushing it, or going at a high level, he’ll always come over and joke with me that Kobe does this or Kobe would do that, or Kobe can make that pass or that play, so he always motivates me.”
Thanks to George, the Pacers are 33-21, half a game out of the second spot in the East, an impressive mark given they’ve done it without Danny Granger. The All-Star, who has missed the whole season with a knee injury is expected to return shortly, which should give Indiana a boost ahead of the playoffs.
Of course it was in last year’s postseason, Indiana had a 2-1 lead over Miami in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and let it slip away. That missed opportunity is something that still bothers George.
“I think we kind of took it for granted,” George said of the series lead. “Those guys are All Stars, and those guys will find a way to really compete and eventually comeback. I think we didn’t overlook them, we knew what we were up against, but we just didn’t finish the job off.”
Feb 21st 2013
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