Paul George thinks the gap between Indiana and Cleveland isn’t all that big.

George, however, acknowledges that the Pacers need “better players” before they can seriously challenge LeBron James and the Cavs.

PG also re-affirmed his commitment to the Pacers heading into next season (he’ll be one of the most sought-after free agents in the summer of 2018.)

Per the AP:

“I am a Pacer. I am under contract and I intend to play,” he said while sitting in the first base dugout.

 

Indiana struggled after the All-Star break last season before clinching the No. 7 seed in the final week of the regular season. Cleveland then eliminated the Pacers with a first-round sweep — four wins by a combined total of 16 points — on its way to a third straight Eastern Conference crown.

 

George believes making the right moves in next week’s draft and in the free-agent market could allow the Pacers to close the gap and perhaps even dethrone James’ team.

 

“In ways, I feel like we are close,” he said. “It’s hard not to believe that because we did the best against Cleveland of anyone and we could have won that series. At the same time, we need some more talent, we need better players.”

According to our friends at numberFire, the Cavs’ first-round sweep of the Pacers in this year’s playoffs was actually the most competitive sweep in NBA playoff history.