Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 10/17/12
Don't tell Paul George that preseason games are meaningless. Because right now for the Indiana Pacers, this is George's time to shine as they prepare to take another step up in the Eastern Conference. On Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks, the third-year swingman had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 102-98 win. He closed out the first half with a buzzer-beating three-pointer, and then knocked down two free-throws with under a minute left in the game to seal the deal. Clutch. But George's overall growth as a focal point of the Pacers' offense comes at a price. Simply put: without Danny Granger stepping in, Indiana needs Paul George to step up. Granger has been sidelined after receiving a platelet rich plasma injection into his left knee last month, and should be available to play in the last two preseason games versus the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls. At least that is the plan. But regardless if Granger can go or remains brought along slowly heading into the regular season with his knee, Indiana can only benefit from George's production. Coach Frank Vogel is taking notice too: Paul is showing his assertiveness. It’s not showing up in his field goal percentage, but he’s attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line and scoring in a variety of ways. Earlier in the month, George confessed he feels that he has a lot riding on him this season. So true. The organization -- and league for that matter -- has seen the talent that is there and now it is up to George to showcase that ability on a consistent basis. Easier said than done. But what better time than now? George averaged 12.1 points and 5.6 rebounds a game last season, and the way he attacked this offseason -- hitting the weights, developing his low post game, and also being part of the USA Select Team -- George should be one of those players primed for a break-out season. He is already taking the steps in that direction this preseason. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker