How Should Paul George Be Handled?
*Photo via USA Today
We have less than a month left of the NBA regular season, and the Eastern Conference 7 and 8 seeds are still up for grabs. The Pacers are currently a game behind Boston for the 8th seed and 3 behind Miami for the 7th. The Pacers have struggled recently losing 7 of their last 10 after a hot streak, which brought them back into playoff contention. Now with all this going on, on the court, there’s been much talk and noise off the court. This noise being that of Paul George, who’s closer and closer to a return after his horrific leg injury. Now without a doubt the Pacers miss their All-Star wing, who, last season averaged 21.7 PPG, 3.5 AST, and 6.8 RPG in just his 4th season in the NBA.
Therefore, any Pacer fan would love to see him back, however is it worth it? I’ve been on the fence for months on whether or not this return was the best thing for both parties. I’ve come to the conclusion that Paul George should not come back. Looking on how numerous stars have rushed returns and have created further injuries, the risk isn’t worth the reward. The Pacers would play the Hawks first round, which in recent years would not be an issue. However, this team hasn’t played with George all season and what he brings to the table is unknown. Why bring him back to miss the playoffs, or to be most likely a one and done playoff team. Now don’t take this the wrong way, I am a Pacer fan but the realest I am says “NO PAUL GEORGE DON’T COME BACK”. George’s health and playing next season and the seasons to come should be the plan and priority.
Paul George being out has already been beneficial to this Pacer team. In which I mean, look where they’re currently are in the conference, look at the numerous injuries they’ve faced all season and overcame. Look at who has played and stepped up into bigger shoes and roles. Players such as Solomn Hill and Donald Sloan have shown they are players, who roles will stay increased beyond this season. Solomon Hill has shown he will most likely be in the starting rotation when Paul George returns. Lastly is George Hill, who prior to this year had me on a “get rid of George Hill riot.” However, he has been superb in his return; George Hill is averaging 15.9 PPG, 4.7 APG, and 3.8 RPG this season, all career highs. So again Paul George being out has helped the team progress in talent, as well as allows them to learn to play and win without their leader. This season I promise Pacer fans, will be what puts us over the top when Paul George returns, just let that be the 2015 - 2016 season. The Pacers had a progression year, not a fall off or rebuild year.