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Paul George's Stock is Soaring

by Scott Agness | @ScottAgness

November 11, 2013

The NBA world has seen the Pacers sprint off to a 7-0 start and Paul George is a big reason why. Last year’s Most Improved Player continues to raise his game and he was honored Monday by being named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week. If not for Sixers’ rookie Michael-Carter Williams going off in his first week in the league and leading his team to a surprising 3-0 start, George very well could have won the award that week, too.

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The award is for games played from Monday, Nov. 4 to Sunday, Nov. 10. During that stretch, the Pacers went 4-0 while playing four games in five nights. George averaged 24.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor, including a 42 percent clip beyond the arc. With George on the floor over the last four games, the Pacers were +48.

This is George’s second Player of the Week award. He won his first last year in the middle of December. George is the only Pacers player to win the award since Danny Granger did back in 2007-08. This week’s award marks the 17th time a Pacer has been the recipient.

"It feels great," he said. "Obviously the team's success -- that's been the biggest thing for me. As long as this team is doing well, I know everything else will take care of itself."

George leads the Eastern Conference and is third in the league in scoring (25.1 points per game), trailing only Kevin Durant (30.2) and Kevin Love (26.9). He’s scored at least 20 points in all seven games, joining Clark Kellogg (1985-86) as the only Pacers players ever to do so. George, who coach Frank Vogel believes is the best wing defender in the game, also has helped the Pacers continue with their stingy defense.

Indiana is the only team holding its opponents under 90 points on average (85.3) and their field goal percentage defense – 38.9 percent – also tops the other 29 teams.

Over the summer, the 23-year-old trained as hard as he ever had. He improved his conditioning, ball handling, and one-on-one isolation plays. His next personal goal is to win the coveted MVP award, which has belonged to LeBron James in four of the last five years.

Paul George’s stock is soaring and the awards are beginning to pile up. The Pacers signed him to a long-term extension in late September, ensuring that he remains with the franchise for the foreseeable future.

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