March 10, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard Paul George (24) shoots over Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Heat won 93-91 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Indiana Pacers are trying to find a formula for success that will hold up under the pressure applied by the better teams in the NBA. While the wins have been tough to come by against the elite of late, Frank Vogel is starting to lean on Paul George more and more in order to utilize the matchup advantage PG can have over smaller shooting guards.
Conrad Brunner takes a closer look at PG's emergence among the messy play of late and finds the second-year shooting guard is starting to make a bigger impact.
George has scored in double figures in eight consecutive games, averaging 14.8, shooting 47 percent overall and 44 percent from the 3-point line. He continues to fill multiple columns of the box score, averaging 4.4 rebounds, 2.88 steals and 2.6 assists in that span -- all while committing a total of seven turnovers.
For the season, he leads second-year players in steals (1.74) and 3-point percentage (.405) and also ranks sixth in scoring (12.5), eighth in rebounds (5.4) and 10th in assists (2.3).
Vogel has nothing to lose by calling #24 more often since the team is struggling to execute and win as it is. It was nice to see PG more involved over the weekend despite the losses. I felt he should've been used more in the Pacers loss to Atlanta last week at the Fieldhouse. For much of the game, PG had smaller guards Kirk Hinrich or Jannero Pargo matched up on him, but rarely did the Pacers run something in the half court to get George the ball in the lane to take advantage of his length.
George still has a tendency to defer through stretches of the game, so with more opportunities and more confidence, hopefully he'll remain in attack mode at all times while still maintaining his edge on the defensive end. Tall task, I know, especially for a young player, but PG has big aspirations for where his game can go and making a big impact at both ends of the floor is part of those plans. No better time than the present to start making that happen.