Ah, Las Vegas, America’s premier spot creates the ultimate adult playground for unforgettable experiences. For Pacers’ star forward Paul George, Vegas created an unforgettable experience that changed his life forever.
Victimized by a horrific leg injury, it caused many to question his return, or the lack thereof. But little did spectators know, the impossible would reincarnate an undeniable talent known to basketball. From that day, Las Vegas would forever remain the infamous breeding ground for Indiana’s dominating beast, Paul George.
Refusing to kiss the game goodbye, the franchise player used the unfortunate setback as preparation for an explosive comeback. How has George’s return shattered the NBA world, you ask? Although the season is young, it hasn’t stopped this powerhouse from posting sky-rocketing numbers, making him the top scorer and free-throw shooter for the Indiana Pacers.
In 2013-14, prior to the injury, George’s last full season averages were 21.7 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, and 3.5 assists per game. After the injury, this year’s first full season appearance quickly took off, averaging 27.2 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game, and 4.4 assists per game. It’s important to note that this season’s soaring numbers come after former teammates, David West, Roy Hibbert, and Lance Stephenson, departed. Those were key players who greatly contributed to the Pacers’ defensive and offensive performance we see now.
Furthermore, George relentlessly dominated six out of 16 games (and counting) with an impressive 30+ point performance. In addition, he recorded a season high 40-point, road performance against the Washington Wizards on Nov. 24.
To add insult to injury, the California native’s increased game speed and “in your face” defense constantly reminds basketball fanatics why he’s one of the best two-way players in the league. George’s performance sends the message that he’s not afraid to take risks, even if it costs him a $10,000 fine, to lead his team to victory.
This five-year pro’s “snatch back” from a gruesome injury only made him stronger and an indisputable force on the hardwood. Watching George swiftly stack these type of numbers early in the season heightens the anticipation of watching Pacers basketball.
All NBA teams better take heed, because the Pacers’ golden-child has returned with a vengeance. He’s willing to play his heart out and take down whomever to be the last man standing. Therefore, thank you Las Vegas for releasing George’s innate desire for more, his unwillingness to quit, and undying passion for the game. Thank you for the rebirth of Paul George.