It is Opening Night Eve and I think we've had about enough Danny Granger injury updates and discussion of the tail end of the Pacers roster which will have minimal impact on the bottom line for the blue and gold this year.
Far more important to the big goals the Pacers have this year is the continued development of Paul George from budding superstar to superstar anchor on the highly productive starting unit. Conrad Brunner has a nice look at PG prior to opening night which reveals a player not out hunting big plays but instead looking to refine his game to be a more efficient cog in the Pacers offensive machine.
"I'm going to continue to do everything well offensively but the offensive end is where I want to be much more complete," he said. "It's just me being aggressive, me being much more assertive on the offensive end. I've been able to put the ball on the deck a little better and be able to create for myself and for my teammates a little better. And I'm trying to cut down on the turnovers. That's been a main focus for myself, making sure, again, I'm complete on the offensive end and much more efficient."
PG certainly looked like a different player in preseason and appears to be heeding Larry Bird's advice that the young fella doesn't need to be a volume three-point shooter but instead a smart shooter from behind the arc, finding his spots and taking quality attempts. Frank Vogel is also quoted in Bruno's piece (seriously, bookmark Bruno's blog, required reading for any, even semi-literate Pacers fan) explaining how both PG and Lance Stephenson are completely different players compared to this time last year.
They are two player capable of taking the Pacers to the heights they aspire to as a team, but Paul George doing it all and doing so consistently is the most critical component the Pacers need to rely on throughout the season. During preseason play, PG shot over 50% from the floor in six of the seven games he played and made almost 40% of his three-pointers. Carrying those types of number into the regular season will be a good start for PG.
Turnovers continued to be an issue at times in preseason which will be a strong sign during the regular season of how consistent PG can be. Balancing the playmaking and turnovers will always be an issue, but limiting the mind-numbers, the turnovers not cause by aggressive play but instead careless valuation of the ball and thus become more glaring, limiting those poor plays will be another sign of the maturing game PG and the Pacers need to take another big leap.
More from Indy Cornrows:
- Pacers Links: Danny Granger out three weeks according to latest injury update
- Indy Cornrows Courtside Podcast: Mark Boyle
- Danny Granger injury update: Granger will not play against Magic or Pelicans
- Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose talk Pacers
- Pacers release Hilton Armstrong to cut roster down to 14 players