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Infusion of George Might Be The Cure For What Ails Pacers

by Conrad Brunner || Caught in the Web Archive

December 31, 2010

You couldn't blame Paul George for appearing somewhat disoriented when he walked onto the court with 3:06 left in the first quarter Friday.

It was, after all, the first time in more than six weeks he had played in the opening period.

“I didn’t have any idea that my number would be called that early in the game," George said.

He was more ready for his moment in the second half, however, giving the Pacers a desperately needed lift in their 95-86 victory over Washington. The Wizards were trying to make a game of it and had closed to 59-47 on a 3-pointer by Rashard Lewis.

But then George took over. First came a sweet up-and-under move in the lane for a tough bucket. Then he stole John Wall's pass and went the distance, converting a three-point play. Then came the highlight reel moment, when he plucked another steal and broke free in the open court, finishing with a windmill jam that brought his teammates off the bench and the crowd to its feet.

And, by the way, it also put the Pacers up 69-49 and they'd lead by double digits until the closing seconds.

The box score told an impressive tale: 18 minutes, 13 points, seven rebounds, five steals, 5-of-8 shooting.

Jim O'Brien revealed after the game this was no token appearance for the No. 10 pick. The coach is altering the rotation to make room for four wings, meaning more time at power forward for Danny Granger, opening opportunity for George.

The reason for the change?

"Our anemic offense," said O'Brien.

If Friday's game was any indicator, George might just be the cure for what ails.