The NBA Awards are rolling in, and Indiana Pacer fans can enjoy a piece of the action as it was announced that Paul George is the Most Improved Player of the Year. We here in Indy know how much he has improved, and now it’s great to see the national recognition for a guy that’s getting to another level. I know Paul George isn’t at the level of the Lebrons, Carmelos, Durants, but with the success that he is seeing, I would say he’s got a great chance to be up there. I would have George clean up some areas of his game as right now there’s not much to dislike. You want Paul George to drive to the basket and finish, he’ll do that. You want him to come off a screen for a shot, he’ll do that. You want George to get to the foul line, he’ll do that. How about Sunday’s Game One action against the Atlanta Hawks that saw George get to the line 18 times, and make 17 of them. That’s quite impressive for a guy only in his third year.
I thought this would be the year that we saw a break out from George or we wouldn’t see the break out. If it didn’t happen this season, I wasn’t sure when it would happen. But with the injury to Danny Granger, someone had to step up, and George gladly did that. Going into this season, I didn’t know if George would come into his own like he did, based on the disappearance during the playoffs last season. He looked out of place in the Miami Heat series, and boy what a difference a year will make. Now George has that look in his eyes that tells you he wants to guard Lebron James, and make life difficult for him. How about just guarding the best player out there at times with George? He’s become the best defender for the team, and really looks to relish that role.
The only weakness to Paul George’s game is the passing. He really has to improve that area. Even a simple pass can be a tough one for George, so once he cleans that up, he’ll be fine. But he was passing all right on Sunday on the way to a triple double in which he dished out 12 assists, so maybe his passing is even on the up. He’ll continue to work in that area, and we’ll see what kind of improvement he can make.
Larry Bird deserves a lot of credit for drafting Paul George, a guy that I didn’t even know. I don’t think most fans knew who he was, but now everyone is falling in love with him. He’s got that look of someone that really enjoys the game. He’ll come out and play tough defense if the shot is falling. But then he’ll come out and finish a play with a flurry if he’s got the lane open. He’s good for at least one highlight reel a game, and who wouldn’t love that. The Pacers will have to figure out how to keep this guy around when that time comes, but I have faith, and believe Paul George will be part of a special group of Pacer players. He’ll join Roy Hibbert and George Hill as those guys that will carry the team to some impressive heights and show the NBA what the Blue and Gold Swagger is all about.