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Thread: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

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    Lightbulb Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge


    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/paul-ge...235417935.html

    LAS VEGAS If Paul George wins a championship with the U.S. at the World Cup this summer, perhaps it will help him get over his Indiana Pacers falling apart when it mattered the most last season. The way George sees it, the Pacers would be NBA champions now if they had just stayed the course.

    "If we had the same mentality that we had to start the year off, we would have won the championship," George told Yahoo Sports. "We were playing the best ball of all of our careers and Pacers history in general. For us to not finish the year where we started is tough."

    The Pacers looked like NBA title contenders after starting the season 40-11. They struggled down the stretch and their poor play carried into the postseason. They needed the full seven games to beat the Atlanta Hawks in the first round and six games to beat the Washington Wizards in the second round. They ended up losing to the Miami Heat in the East finals.

    Along the way, the Pacers didn't lack for dysfunction. All-Star center Roy Hibbert oddly struggled mightily and was even benched in the playoffs and Lance Stephenson and Even Turner got in a fight in practice. During the East finals, Stephenson made headlines for blowing in LeBron James' ear.

    George thinks Indiana's biggest problem was adapting to the bull's-eye on them.


    "Before, we were just jumping on teams and they were laying down. And then toward the end of the season, they [were ready]," George said. "When you play Miami, you're going to get up for them. That's how teams were playing against us. They were ready. They were amped for us. They didn't win a game in two to three games, but against us they didn't miss a shot."

    As for the off-court drama, George said: "We had no locker room issues. You are going to clash. You got guys that got into it. But there was nothing that broke our chemistry. We were still [close] as a team."

    After the season finale, George gave a lukewarm endorsement for the Pacers attempting to re-sign Stephenson. Now, George says a lot of Stephenson's antics "could have been avoided" but it wasn't a major team distraction.

    "We all know what kind of player Lance was," George said. "Lance always tried to get under people's skin. Some of it could be avoided. But at the end of the day, that's what gets Lance going."

    George said he spent a lot of time fishing in Indianapolis once the season ended, but that couldn't keep his mind off the Pacers' struggles and future concerns.

    "I just was thinking what would our plans be coming into this next season," George said. "I knew Lance was coming up on a contract. What would happen with George [Hill], Roy? I just wanted to see what was going to go on, what would happen and try to put a finger on it."

    Hibbert is still with the Pacers and has been working out with Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this off-season. So is Hill. But gone is Stephenson, who signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets after rebuffing a five-year, $44 million offer from the Pacers. Indiana responded by signing veteran guards Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles.

    George believes Stephenson, who was miffed about not being named an All-Star last season, was attracted to a star role in Charlotte.

    "He did that because he wants to come into his own," George said. "That's not to say he couldn't do that in Indiana. But I think the fresh start gives him the ability to lead a team and take what he got from us to Charlotte. He is a player that wants to be an All-Star, wants to be a superstar in this league. So I think he made that move based on that."

    George plans on helping compensate for Stephenson's loss by being much more aggressive offensively like Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady were in their primes.

    "Coming into next season I need to be in the 25-30-point mark," said George, who averaged 21.7 points last season. "I got to get back to that old Kobe, T-Mac, 25-shots-a-night kind of guy."

    The Eastern Conference appears open after James' decision to leave the Heat and return to Cleveland. George, however, still believes the Pacers are currently the team to beat in the East because of their experience, talent and familiarity while acknowledging any team that acquires Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love also could greatly increase its title chances.

    "It just spreads the whole field out," George said of James' move. "You got a good eight or nine teams that can get to the Finals. But I'm still confident we can get to the Finals."
    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmenace View Post
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    Plumlee reminds me of a young Dale Davis. Good rebounding and he contests shots well on defense and his offensive game is very raw just like DD's was coming out of college.
    "If my answers frighten you, then you should cease asking scary questions."

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Anyone else frightened by Paul George saying he wants to be at the 25-30 point mark?

    He has to remember he doesn't need to do it all. Be aggressive, create for others and get to the free throw line. He should focus on that and not worry about setting goals as far as points per game or shots per game IMO.

    With this being said, Paul seems humble and hungry. We are really lucky to have this guy on our team.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    "Coming into next season I need to be in the 25-30-point mark," said George, who averaged 21.7 points last season. "I got to get back to that old Kobe, T-Mac, 25-shots-a-night kind of guy."
    We got some selfish dudes thinkin bout their stats in here

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    he has to, our talent has dropped. and our competition has got better

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    I dislike the idea of having that Kobe/T-Mac mentality, but really, who else can we rely on to consistently put up points?

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Awesome View Post
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    I dislike the idea of having that Kobe/T-Mac mentality, but really, who else can we rely on to consistently put up points?
    Obviously Chris Copeland, him rotting on the bench is why all of us aren't getting replica rings at some random December home game.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
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    We got some selfish dudes thinkin bout their stats in here
    I thought Paul G is besties with LBJ? Why can't he emulate his idol instead. I know a lot of people on this board dislike LeBron, but I'd be pretty happy if George duplicates LBJ's 57% FG on less than 18 shots per game, with 7 assists and 7 rebounds for good measure.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    The Pacers and every other "contender" lost their title hopes when the Spurs
    decided to put on a clinic on how basketball is supposed to be played.

    Even with early season edge, we simply were not playing at that level.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    All the JO'B training he did is going to finally pay off.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Yes PG, that is the attitude you need. He needs to go onto the court every night looking for 25 shots - for 25-30 points. Nothing wrong with that at all, not at all. The key is to do it within the offense and to take good shots and if the defense is doubling him then he needs to pass the ball. I fully expect he will do all of these things


    I think PG hit the nail on the head as to why Lance left.

    "He did that because he wants to come into his own," George said. "That's not to say he couldn't do that in Indiana. But I think the fresh start gives him the ability to lead a team and take what he got from us to Charlotte. He is a player that wants to be an All-Star, wants to be a superstar in this league. So I think he made that move based on that."

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    25 shots a night? His 17 a night seemed like a lot last year. I don't want to see 25 shots a night if he has the same poor shot selection that he had down the stretch a year ago.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    I'm surprised some of you are taken aback by the idea of PG shooting at such a heavy volume next year. The only other guy in our starting lineup who can create for himself is George Hill.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by idioteque View Post
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    I'm surprised some of you are taken aback by the idea of PG shooting at such a heavy volume next year. The only other guy in our starting lineup who can create for himself is George Hill.
    The most shots that Kevin Durant has ever taken in a season is 20.8 per game. Paul George is talking about a number that is 4 more shots per game than that.

    If we really need Paul George to shoot it that much, then it will mean that we're not a very good team.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Lance left because he has a ****** agent and a team of nothing but yes men around him. It has nothing to do with "leading a team," we all saw the dude for 4 years, he thought he was leading THIS team. If that's actually the vibe PG got from him from talking post-signing or whatever, good luck Charlotte.

    And 25-30 points on 25+ shots is awful. Kobe and TMac have a single season of putting up 25+ shots between them, McGrady never did it, and PG's got a helluva way to go to become the player McGrady was when he was healthy, let alone Kobe, love ya PG but you're not in that same breath.

    If any other player said anything close to "I got to put up X points per game and fire up Y amount of shots" he'd be freaking vilified.

    Anyway, PG's on a (close to) supermax contract now, time to take the kid gloves off with him. If he's gonna be paid like a top 10 player he needs to be one every single night.
    Last edited by Heisenberg; 07-31-2014 at 09:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Are we really going to get caught up with the exact numbers PG mentions. His point is he needs to be very aggressive offensively and he needs to be more like KObe or T-Mac than he has in the past.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
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    Lance left because he has a ****** agent and a team of nothing but yes men around him. It has nothing to do with "leading a team," we all saw the dude for 4 years, he thought he was leading THIS team. If that's actually the vibe PG got from him from talking post-signing or whatever, good luck Charlotte.

    And 25-30 points on 25+ shots is awful. Kobe and TMac have a single season of putting up 25+ shots between them, McGrady never did it, and PG's got a helluva way to go to become the player McGrady was when he was healthy, let alone Kobe, love ya PG but you're not in that same breath.

    If any other player said anything close to "I got to put up X points per game and fire up Y amount of shots" he'd be freaking vilified.

    Yeah, the only time Kobe ever hit 25 was when he averaged 27.2 attempts in 05-06. That was the 81 point game year in which he averaged freaking 35.4 PPG, the finest individual scoring season since Jordan in 1988. Kobe's supporting cast that year was pure crap: Lamar Odom, Smush Parker, Brian Cook, Chris Mihm, Kwame Brown, Luke Walton, Devean George. Odom is the only one of those players worth anything. The only hope that team had of winning games was for Kobe to put them on his back night in and night out. If Paul George has to shoot a comparable number of shots this year, then it will mean that the Pacers team sucks. I'm disheartened that Lance left, but this team still has way too much offensive talent for one player to be jacking up that many shots.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    PD - where your star player gives an "I have to get better" interview and he gets dogged for not wanting to get better in exactly the right way.
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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    PD - where your star player gives an "I have to get better" interview and he gets dogged for not wanting to get better in exactly the right way.

    PD - where you get accused of being against your star player if you don't like the idea of him taking 4 more shots per game than Kevin Durant has ever taken in his entire career :

    Unless the rest of our team sucks miserably next year, PG drastically increasing his shot attempts isn't going to be a good thing.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    PD - where you get accused of being against your star player if you don't like the idea of him taking 4 more shots per game than Kevin Durant has ever taken in his entire career :

    Unless the rest of our team sucks miserably next year, PG drastically increasing his shot attempts isn't going to be a good thing.
    "dogging" doesn't mean "being against" - it just means searching for things to criticize rather than things to be positive about.

    Look, I don't think PG is perfect. But when the first reaction is "oh, no, that's awful!" every single time, it makes it hard to figure out if people want a player to develop himself or if they want a player to do what they tell him.
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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    FWIW I don't think Paul was speaking literally when he mentioned 25-30 shots per game. I think he was trying to imply he needed to be more aggressive and just used a poor choice of words.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    "dogging" doesn't mean "being against" - it just means searching for things to criticize rather than things to be positive about.

    Look, I don't think PG is perfect. But when the first reaction is "oh, no, that's awful!" every single time, it makes it hard to figure out if people want a player to develop himself or if they want a player to do what they tell him.
    But no one has to try hard to "search" for something here. PG said an explicit number - 25. Even if that figure is some hyperbole, it seems clear that he is looking to substantially increase his shot attempts next season. He shot 17.0 attempts last year, just 0.6 behind what Lebron James put up. If he starts inching into the 20's, then that's a hell of a lot of field goal attempts. Unless the supporting cast is really bad next year, then I don't think that's a good thing for the Pacers.

    Virtually everyone on here likes Paul George. We all want to see him get better. His issue isn't so much aggression as much as it is taking smart shots. A lot of his shot attempts last year were forced junk. Taking more attempts isn't going to fix that.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Yes PG, that is the attitude you need. He needs to go onto the court every night looking for 25 shots - for 25-30 points. Nothing wrong with that at all, not at all. The key is to do it within the offense and to take good shots and if the defense is doubling him then he needs to pass the ball. I fully expect he will do all of these things


    I think PG hit the nail on the head as to why Lance left.

    "He did that because he wants to come into his own," George said. "That's not to say he couldn't do that in Indiana. But I think the fresh start gives him the ability to lead a team and take what he got from us to Charlotte. He is a player that wants to be an All-Star, wants to be a superstar in this league. So I think he made that move based on that."
    Conversely, if PG has more of the mindset of a facilitator, then maybe there'd be room for Lance too?

    Is this why you always thought PG and Lance couldn't play together, i.e. you think both players want too many shots?

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    But no one has to try hard to "search" for something here. PG said an explicit number - 25. Even if that figure is some hyperbole, it seems clear that he is looking to substantially increase his shot attempts next season. He shot 17.0 attempts last year, just 0.6 behind what Lebron James put up. If he starts inching into the 20's, then that's a hell of a lot of field goal attempts. Unless the supporting cast is really bad next year, then I don't think that's a good thing for the Pacers.

    Virtually everyone on here likes Paul George. We all want to see him get better. His issue isn't so much aggression as much as it is taking smart shots. A lot of his shot attempts last year were forced junk. Taking more attempts isn't going to fix that.
    Good post.

    To add to that, let's look at what PG is right now as an offensive player. He's a big SF, 6'10'' and ridiculously athletic, but his offense is hugely reliant on his jumper. 56% of his shots come at 16 ft or more. In comparison, LBJ takes less than 40% of his shots from that far. So when he says he wants to put up more shots, the automatic implication for a lot of readers is that he wants to chuck up more garbage from long range (I mean, he mentioned Kobe, what else were we to think).

    Now it could be that what Paul George actually meant was "I need to drive the lane more, to put pressure on the defense and get easy points from the line". Or maybe "I need to post up more, to get more efficient points close to the basket and set up easier shots for my teammates". But since he didn't say these things, I can only hope that UB's assumption is correct.

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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    But no one has to try hard to "search" for something here. PG said an explicit number - 25. Even if that figure is some hyperbole, it seems clear that he is looking to substantially increase his shot attempts next season. He shot 17.0 attempts last year, just 0.6 behind what Lebron James put up. If he starts inching into the 20's, then that's a hell of a lot of field goal attempts. Unless the supporting cast is really bad next year, then I don't think that's a good thing for the Pacers.

    Virtually everyone on here likes Paul George. We all want to see him get better. His issue isn't so much aggression as much as it is taking smart shots. A lot of his shot attempts last year were forced junk. Taking more attempts isn't going to fix that.
    While I understand what you are saying, comparing what Paul does or has to do given the supporting cast on this team (even if they are at their very best) with what LBJ has to do given the supporting cast on HIS team last year, is both inflating the offense of our supporting cast and dissing the value of the Heat's.

    I think the make up of our team is going to be a lot more like that of LA (in terms of how the skill levels stack up against each other across the board, not in terms of talent at each position) than like Miami. Therefore, our team scoring leader should be more like Kobe than like LBJ.

    I definitely agree that if the shot selection stinks it is very likely a detriment - but I guess I choose not to assume that when he says more shots he means he'll just fling the ball up more often.
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    Default Re: Paul George thinks Pacers lost their title hopes after first losing their edge

    They better be good shots this time, no more euro stepping into traffic yelling "heeeeyyyyyyy" waiting for a foul call.

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