As Allen Iverson once championed, NBA practice isn't that big of a deal.
But practice for the Pacers on Thursday was kind of a big deal thanks to Paul George participating in full for the first time since breaking his leg in early August. George stated his goal to be cleared to practice on March 1, so he came in three days under his estimate.
So does that put his goal of playing in a game by mid-March into play?
At this point, we can't deny PG any of his stated goals since he's worked hard to make them happen thus far. Still, various video clips show George still favoring his leg (via @scottagness) and looking more than two or three weeks away from playing. Paul George took part in practice but he wasn't the PG the Pacers eventually need.
The confidence to playing at an NBA level on the leg may develop quickly, but will George be able to impact the Pacers run to the playoffs? Tim Cato takes a look at how PG's return could boost the Pacers although doesn't like their chances regardless as a seven or eight seed.
However, with the way the Eastern Conference is trending, those final two seeds only delay the inevitable. LeBron James has the Cavaliers one game out of taking the No. 2 seed from Toronto, and if they do, none of the six teams will have a realistic chance against them or Atlanta. George returning to lead a playoff push would be a story we all want to see, but if it happens, it will end in the first round.
I'm sticking with the story we all want to see, because if Paul George can get close to resembling PG by the playoffs, then I'll enjoy the Pacers taking their shot at the one or two seed.