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Thread: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

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    Default Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    By Brian Windhorst | ESPN.com

    It seemed like July was a bit of a bad month for the Indiana Pacers, with Lance Stephenson bolting to Charlotte after what seemed like an unnecessary contract dispute and LeBron James signing with a division rival.

    Or maybe that's how the Pacers want people to see it.

    The Pacers made last season rather fascinating with their rapid rise and fall that was centered around sometimes unpredictable events and odd bouts of chemistry problems.

    But there was a core issue that no one associated with the team will deny: The Pacers struggled with life at the top of the standings after years of being the underdogs. And already, they seem to prefer to return to the more comfortable role.

    A bumpy past few months has put pressure on the Pacers to deliver, but Paul George says they can handle it.

    "With Lance being gone and everyone thinking this is going to be a rebuilding year for us," Paul George said during Team USA training camp this week, "immediately when LeBron went to Cleveland, that made them the front-runners."

    Which team will be the front-runner in the East is yet to be determined, depending on the Cavs' ability to finish a Kevin Love trade, how the Chicago Bulls' offseason additions come together and how the new-look Miami Heat roster works out. Also, by the way, James' repositioning broke up the team that put the Pacers out of the playoffs each of the last three years.

    But the Pacers, with a strong core led by George still in place, are certainly not rebuilding, right?

    "People do look at it that way," George insisted, perhaps even trying to sell it. "I've got a lot of pressure and I'm coming into this year and I'm ready to live up to that pressure."

    There's something else George may be trying to sell this summer. Generally, George was always a public supporter of Stephenson; they came into the league together in 2010 and grew together over the past four years. They kept in touch throughout Stephenson's free-agency process, which ended with him taking a three-year, $27 million deal with the Hornets over Indiana's five-year, $44 million offer.

    "Obviously, I wanted him to come back, we gained so much chemistry together," George said. "But I didn't want to make the decision for him."

    But how much did George and the rest of his teammates truly want Stephenson back? Frequently, Stephenson was the Pacers' best player, and there is no denying his talent. Team president Larry Bird said publicly and strongly several times he wanted to keep Stephenson, though the way the Pacers were so ironclad in their position even after Charlotte offered a relatively miniscule increase in annual salary made Bird's stance on the matter seem a little questionable.

    Frankly, many of the team's internal frustrations over the second half of the season could be traced back to Stephenson in one way or another. Though he was fearless defensively and endlessly aggressive, his penchant for "free-Lancing" offensively was a constant irritation to his teammates, as were his frequent on-court antics and off-court commentary that led to distractions.

    So, on one hand, George says losing Stephenson creates a sense of rebuilding and he wanted him back. But on the other, he self-evaluates his second-half struggles like this: "I was trying to get other guys going and get other guys in the groove. I was trying to find mine; a lot of times I was just hung out to dry."

    And when it comes to Stephenson's replacement, free-agent pickup Rodney Stuckey, George said this: "Stuckey is going to be a player that changes his whole career around. He's a system guy that fits right into what we do. He plays defense, he knows how to play the pick-and-roll. Stuckey is going to step right into [Stephenson's] role."

    Stuckey is no Stephenson -- the fact that the Pacers got him on a one-year minimum contract three weeks into July says enough about that. But George's references to Stuckey being a "system guy" are not fluff. Stephenson's bouts of ball-hoggery and periods of blatant stat-chasing were not part of the Pacers' system. Stephenson occasionally won them some games because he was impervious to some of the outside influences that weighed the team down, but it came at a cost.

    George truly does seem to regard Stephenson as a friend to this day, and he's not totally looking to shed blame for not achieving the Pacers' goal of reaching the Finals. His offseason workouts have been focused on playing closer to the basket and learning to create space by improving his footwork, techniques that need to be added to his game.

    And while he seems to talk in code a bit about what Stephenson's departure means, he is not looking to shed any responsibility.

    "The eyes are on me this year," George said. "I've got a lot of pressure and I'm coming into this year ready to live up to that pressure."
    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11...-live-pressure
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    "The eyes are on me this year," George said.
    selfish ****

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by tora tora View Post
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    selfish ****
    That actually made me laugh. Im expecting a big year from PG and Hibbert
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Stuckey had issue with coach after coach, but he's gonna come turn his career around playing for a coach who throws players in the doghouse all the time? He ball hogs because that's his entire game, but he's gonna come here and fit in better than a guy whose usage rate was in line with 3 others on the team? I would say PG is delusional, but it's PR speak and being anything other than positive doesn't really benefit him in any way.

    I also think the writer totally went off track by relating it back to Lance. Initially the article reveals that the biggest issue was in fact dealing with being the frontrunners, but they just couldn't resist going the blame Lance route, using the same rumors that are still unsubstantiated. You'd think since the guy is no longer with the Pacers that someone would have verified the gossip, but don't let that stop the hate train. Gotta extend that article somehow!

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdStrike View Post
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    Stuckey had issue with coach after coach, but he's gonna come turn his career around playing for a coach who throws players in the doghouse all the time? He ball hogs because that's his entire game, but he's gonna come here and fit in better than a guy whose usage rate was in line with 3 others on the team? I would say PG is delusional, but it's PR speak and being anything other than positive doesn't really benefit him in any way.

    I also think the writer totally went off track by relating it back to Lance. Initially the article reveals that the biggest issue was in fact dealing with being the frontrunners, but they just couldn't resist going the blame Lance route, using the same rumors that are still unsubstantiated. You'd think since the guy is no longer with the Pacers that someone would have verified the gossip, but don't let that stop the hate train. Gotta extend that article somehow!
    Wait, what coach throws players in the dog house? This isn't another Copeland reference is it?

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdStrike View Post
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    I would say PG is delusional, but it's PR speak and being anything other than positive doesn't really benefit him in any way.

    I also think the writer totally went off track by relating it back to Lance. Initially the article reveals that the biggest issue was in fact dealing with being the frontrunners, but they just couldn't resist going the blame Lance route, using the same rumors that are still unsubstantiated. You'd think since the guy is no longer with the Pacers that someone would have verified the gossip, but don't let that stop the hate train. Gotta extend that article somehow!
    It is Brian Windhorst that is taking PG's words and reaching a conclusion that several of us on this site have reached, it is not far fetched, it is likely the truth.
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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    It is Brian Windhorst that is taking PG's words and reaching a conclusion that several of us on this site have reached, it is not far fetched, it is likely the truth.
    You know it's all just a smokescreen to cover the PG / Roy issues!
    Danger Zone

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    It is Brian Windhorst that is taking PG's words and reaching a conclusion that several of us on this site have reached, it is not far fetched, it is likely the truth.
    Several on the site reached the conclusion that it was Hibbert's fiance cheating on him with Lance, PG or both. Not a shred of concrete evidence for either claim, which leads a logical person to assume it is a fallacy, until proven otherwise of course.

    FWIW, it's been beaten to death but the guy who made the "selfish dudes" comment (which was, ironically, an inherently selfish thing to do) went on to be demonstratively selfish on the court. This is what I would consider--objectively--to be "not far fetched."

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdStrike View Post
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    Stuckey had issue with coach after coach, but he's gonna come turn his career around playing for a coach who throws players in the doghouse all the time? He ball hogs because that's his entire game, but he's gonna come here and fit in better than a guy whose usage rate was in line with 3 others on the team? I would say PG is delusional, but it's PR speak and being anything other than positive doesn't really benefit him in any way.

    I also think the writer totally went off track by relating it back to Lance. Initially the article reveals that the biggest issue was in fact dealing with being the frontrunners, but they just couldn't resist going the blame Lance route, using the same rumors that are still unsubstantiated. You'd think since the guy is no longer with the Pacers that someone would have verified the gossip, but don't let that stop the hate train. Gotta extend that article somehow!


    Brian Windhorst is pretty knowledgeable about the pacers. He and Mike Wells wrote a pretty indepth article on May 28th 2014 about the pacers issues. I kept a copy of it for myself, but I'm sure it is still around here on pacers digest. And in fact Wells and Windhorst address the rumors

    Here is a link to the article

    http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014...ning-questions
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 08-01-2014 at 01:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    yes, we deal so well with added pressure....


    pretty blunt, that comment "Stephenson's bouts of ball-hoggery and periods of blatant stat-chasing were not part of the Pacers' system"
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    the hell's he talking about "hung out to dry?"

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
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    the hell's he talking about "hung out to dry?"
    You know, how he wasn't as involved in the second half. I mean, his November and December usage rates of 28.6 and 27.6 fell all the way in February and March to...28.6 and 27.7.
    Last edited by PacersHomer; 08-01-2014 at 03:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
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    the hell's he talking about "hung out to dry?"
    I really just wish he'd stop talking, period.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Great. So instead of having a balanced team, PG is thinking its gonna be "The Paul George Show" for next season.
    David "And One" West

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
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    the hell's he talking about "hung out to dry?"
    A guess... when a teammate yo-yo's the ball around for most of the possession, then passes it to you with with about 2 seconds left on the 24 second clock.

    just a guess, though
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Paul George playing hero ball is part of the reason we got into that mess last year. I don't know if I like the sound of this. As far as Frank putting players in the doghouse.......really? He doesn't put people in the doghouse or hold players accountable hardly ever. That's part of his problem. Scola and Hibbert stunk it up for months with very little repercussions. He also didn't reign in Lance and PG when they decided to go into hero ball mode after the All Star break. I hope Frank learned from last year because I'm not so sure PG has.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    A guess... when a teammate yo-yo's the ball around for most of the possession, then passes it to you with with about 2 seconds left on the 24 second clock.

    just a guess, though
    That's interesting because PG got the ball more and held on to it longer than anyone else on the team, and it wasn't close...

    I hate it that I've been railing at PG all summer, but he's pushing all my buttons. Unsolicited advice to PG: saying you got "hung out to dry" is the opposite of taking responsibility, because, you know, it implies that it is someone else's fault.

    Look, I'm getting the picture. Lance is hated by his teammates, a bogeyman on the level of Jim O'Brien. Well, at least Paul and Roy can bond over that. Just remember Roy, Paul is taking your touches too, and planning to take even more.

    And you know... the bogeyman is off the team. We should expect consistent play out of the players now... right?

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Brian Windhorst is pretty knowledgeable about the pacers. He and Mike Wells wrote a pretty indepth article on May 28th 2014 about the pacers issues. I kept a copy of it for myself, but I'm sure it is still around here on pacers digest. And in fact Wells and Windhorst address the rumors

    Here is a link to the article

    http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014...ning-questions
    Someone still pays attention to anything Wells says? I stopped listening/reading him long ago.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    A guess... when a teammate yo-yo's the ball around for most of the possession, then passes it to you with with about 2 seconds left on the 24 second clock.

    just a guess, though
    Yes, George Hill should never have done that to him.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    You can be a balanced team and still have a go-to guy in Paul George.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    A guess... when a teammate yo-yo's the ball around for most of the possession, then passes it to you with with about 2 seconds left on the 24 second clock.

    just a guess, though
    (You've got to be kidding me) George Hill is still on the team though, why would PG say that about him?

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    Yes, George Hill should never have done that to him.
    Hill never had the ball for that long.. Hill was the exact opposite of that tbh.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCollarColts View Post
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    Hill never had the ball for that long.. Hill was the exact opposite of that tbh.
    Sometimes I can take a short nap while he dribbles, and still wake up in time to catch the play.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    Sometimes I can take a short nap while he dribbles, and still wake up in time to catch the play.
    Maybe you should do less sleeping and more watching.

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    Default Re: Paul George: 'A lot of pressure'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    Sometimes I can take a short nap while he dribbles, and still wake up in time to catch the play.
    Are you calling Hill a ball stopper right now.... Seriously?

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