Paul George Responds, Carries Pacers Past Bulls
Paul George won’t forget about his performance in Golden State anytime soon.
His line read: 0-for-7, 0 points.
And that was coming off a four point night (2-of-11) in Sacramento the night before.
So what’d he do about it? Immediately upon returning from the West Coast, George drove to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse (around 7:30 AM) and put up over 500 shots.
The work certainly paid off and gave him some confidence heading into their game Tuesday in Chicago.
George had the second-best game of his young career, finishing with a game-high 34 points while hitting on 56 percent of his shots (14-of-25). With nine rebounds, he nearly had a double-double and turned it over just twice.
In a 80-76 win over the Bulls, George scored 10 of the Pacers first 16 points and 11 of their final 17.
When the usually reliable David West and George Hill struggled to score, it was George that carried the team. West was 3-of-12 from the field and had 10 points while Hill went 3-of-16 for eight points.
See Also: George Searching for Consistency
Just 22 years old, George is fighting with pressure and confidence. As Danny Granger continues to miss time with a sore left knee, many have tagged George as the one to pick up the offensive load. That’s not something that will come right away but will take time to develop.
Being looked to score more often is also challenging when he is often defending the opponent’s best player night in and night out. Then, when he goes to the other end, many times his legs aren’t under his shot.
George is a routine guy. He didn’t like that he had to force his first shot up in Golden State as the shot-clock expired. He has a system for everything, all the way down to the shoes he wears. He’s admittedly has changed things up at least twice now — whatever works for his confidence I suppose.
There’s no doubt that sometimes, he’s probably just thinking too much. And because George is so connected on social media, he’s well-aware what others are saying about him. When negative messages come in, it becomes extra motivation.
He doesn’t need to score 30 points a night for the Pacers to be successful. (Although it wouldn’t hurt. They’re 3-0 in his career when he scores at least 30.) What he does need to do is bring a positive, confident mentality every night which will do numbers for his game and the team.
George’s performance Tuesday was another big step in the right direction.