2013 Playoffs: Paul George wasn't messin' around for Pacers in Game 1

Andy Lyons

The Pacers turned in a focused effort against the Hawks, led by PG's triple-double.

With apologies to Ice Cube, Paul George was NOT messin' around when he logged a triple-double in the Indiana Pacers Game 1 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

PG wasn't just playing when he showed up at the Fieldhouse, he was playing to win. Ready to go for the kill at both ends of the floor. Whew, I can get used to playoff Paul George if he can make that type of effort last throughout the postseason. When a game ends and the description of your effort includes "first time since Mark Jackson in 1998" (playoff triple-double) and "first time since Reggie Miller in 1993" (free throws made) then you know it was an epic performance.

When the playoff intensity ramps up, NBA teams have to be focused or they'll get overwhelmed in a hurry. But when a team comes out focused and ready to go like the Indiana Pacers did for 48 minutes in Game 1, then they can dictate the terms of the game.

A sure sign of focus is stepping up and knocking down free throws. Now a player or team can be focused and giving great effort but still miss free throws. But a team, especially this Pacers team, or a player, especially Paul George, doesn't have the success at the line like they did in Game 1 without laser sharp focus to get the job done. The Pacers made 30 of 34 free throws, which included PG's 17 of 18 freebies. The effort was a career best from George and only the second time in his three-year career that he's had both double-digit free throw takes and makes.

So now what? Game 2 holds as much importance as Game 1 and a let down by the Pacers to let one go at home would smudge an otherwise perfect start to the playoffs. What the PG gave the Pacers on Saturday, in focus and effort, has to be the norm for as long as the blue and gold keeps playing.

The scary part is that PG's big triple-double numbers could've easily been even bigger. His three of 13 shooting effort from the floor left more than a few points on the table. And after a second watch, I noticed at least four potential assists that weren't cashed in after PG set up a teammate with a solid look via the pass. I'm talking real good looks, including a couple of open mid-range jumpers for David West that he rarely misses.

But this is no time to be greedy...wait, yes it is. If we're going to lean on PG to play at a superstar level at 22 years old, then let's keep pushing for those superstar numbers. He delivered in Game 1 but that's now a pleasant, past memory.

What will Paul George do in Game 2?

Indy Cornrows is your source for Indiana Pacers tickets. We also invite you to follow Indy Cornrows on Twitter and like Indy Cornrows on Facebook.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Indy Cornrows

You must be a member of Indy Cornrows to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Indy Cornrows. You should read them.

Join Indy Cornrows

You must be a member of Indy Cornrows to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Indy Cornrows. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker