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Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at 10:30 am  |  66 responses

Paul George Can’t Wait to Face the Miami Heat in the Playoffs

Indiana Pacers star Paul George is one very confident fella. And like everyone else, George is impatiently waiting for what seems like an inevitable matchup with the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Per USA Today:

Paul George long envisioned this, being an NBA MVP candidate and All-Star.

The Indiana Pacers small forward said he always thought he had it in him.

“I did expect it,” he said, unwavering in his confidence and ability. “I just didn’t expect it to come around this fast.”

“Now it’s wanting to have a legacy. A lot of guys, they just do it for the time being. For me, it’s about building a legacy. I feel like I can be one of the best players in this league and one of the best players to play this game as far as both sides of the floor. I feel like every year I get better, every year I learn something new, and I don’t plan on stopping.”

And while he knows first things first, he can’t help but think about a Heat-Pacers playoff rematch.

“To be honest,” George said, “I wish we could speed it up to that.”

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  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange has a saying for moments like this, “Thou doth protest too much.”

  • pposse

    its like Paul George has adopted a Larry Bird mentality, real curious to hear what LB has to say about all this talk

  • Happy

    I really, really, really want to fast forward the season to the playoffs.

  • Marcuz

    Waits patiently to see if these comments will get PG the same ‘hate’ LeBron got for his comments….

  • Dagger

    Paul George is a great player, but he’s started to come back down to earth in the last few weeks.

    He’s true shooting % is now 56%, which really isn’t that great. His PER is just north of 20, and his win shares are at .200. By comparison, Kyle Lowry’s PER is .03 lower, his TS% is higher, and he has more win shares. George is also not the most consistent player: he had 12 points on 4-17 shooting last night, for example.

    Yes, the Pacers are awesome, and yes George’s excellent defense is part of that. But some of this talk of him being a top-5 player, of him aiming to be one of the best ever, is starting to seem premature.

  • Feez_22

    I don’t really have anything negative to say in terms of this article. He was just voicing his mind and is highly anticipating a miami heat rematch (just like the rest of us).

    However, i have to say this. Paul george might be the most overrated player in basketball. No other percieved “top 5″ nba player is allowed to have a 10 game stretch where they are allowed to score 16.5ppg on 32.6% shooting yet succinctly get away with virtually no media scrutiny. Players perceived to be “lesser” than paul george are routinely lambasted by the media for stretches better than this…

    YET he’s allowed to talk (not necessarily in this article but others) and people brush it off because he’s perceived on the verge of superstardom & could possibly dethrone the miami heat (which would make a lot of people happy). I see flashes of superstardom from him just like i see from guys like john wall and kyrie irving. however, I don’t think he’s on the “verge” of it. He’s not consistent enough as a player. His defense is stellar but it helps to have the best rim protector in the league just in case you let your guy drive past you.

    I just think that the elevating of paul george is kind of unfair to other younger players who pretty much produce at the same clip as him. It is also unfair to the true superstars of this league who had to pay their dues to get this type of recognition while this guy is just being anointed such…

  • Marcuz

    I have no problem with him aiming to be in the top 5…got to have the confidence to play in the NBA…but to actually think that you have arrived and haven’t won anything is where the problems arise….

  • JJ Jones

    Paul george is by far the most overrated player in the league right now. And to think people had him over KD at the beginning of the year lol. If been saying that george isnt consistent on offense and got ridiculed for it.

  • JJ Jones

    Unfortunately it looks more and more unlikely that wade will be healthy for this series.

  • Redd

    You’re not a NBA MVP idiot, he’s become so arrogant just like the rest of his team already was.

  • Caboose

    Who. Who had that?

  • Caboose

    He has a migraine and it’s assumed he won’t be healthy for the playoffs?

  • playa

    When you has a game like Larry Legend, you can think/talk the f#ck you want.Problem is George right now is more like a college Larry or at most rookie Larry when speaking about level of play.

  • Ervin

    Be careful what you wish for. The Heat are going to step it up in the second half and actually get serious. They have been on cruise control so far. Paul, be careful what you wish for.

  • spit hot fiyah

    probably paul george and his agent

  • LP @ThisisEther

    From the past few days of articles on SLAM, I get the feeling nobody here likes it when a confident player answers questions ambitiously, and is confident in his or his team’s ability…… I think you guys around rather no questions be answered at all, Marshawn Lynch style….. Am I correct?

  • LakeShow

    Or the opposite. They are resting him so damn much. It’s crazy how much rest he is getting.

  • pposse

    id rather have them talk down on their opponents or the media ask these guys directly something like ‘Lebron who is better you or KD?’ and Lebron say something like, “Are you stupid? Im gonna be plastered on the Mt. Rushmore of players. Will KD? Thats what i thought. Next question” (and then Lebron looks around and picks whom will get to ask the next question and its a fine chick).
    I don’t mind, i think PG is funny tho, they better hold onto that number one spot cause if they play the bulls in the 2nd rd he might not even get his chance at revenge with Miami.

  • JJ Jones

    No because he has a nerve issue with his foot now

  • Caboose

    You are aware that’s just to give him a week of rest right? His foot is fine.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    nobody. JJ just exaggerates everything he says.

  • JJ Jones

    No that not an exaggeration. At the time people were picking pg over kd because hes a better “two way player”

  • JJ Jones

    Not necessarily on this site though

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lol i guess. if by people you mean random children from indiana.

  • social sniper

    thisi s what happens when u hype a players head up before they’ve done anything

  • Mario_23

    Some people don’t understand that the NBA has the right to fine a team that rests their players and not releasing a medical reason as to why that player isn’t playing, specially on national televised games b/c is bad for business and what not. These cats believe everything they hear and then the stupid comments come “Wade is done, blah blah blah”… Yea he’s obv not 2006 Wade but he still has a lot of lift and game.

  • JJ Jones

    U really believe that he was getting ready to play yesterday. He hasn’t played that much they wouldn’t be resting him at this point of the season unless something happened foot drop in no joke

  • Najee Fareed

    advanced statistics are just another way to look at the game… do not take them out of the scope of the game. Paul George is obviously a great player on both ends of the court.

  • Caboose

    Let me follow your logic.

    Kobe comes back, plays like sh!t, gets a huge injury, but you say he will come back just fine like he was 4 years ago

    Wade when healthy still is a top 10 player, he’s out with minor injuries, but you say he’s done?

    Please, explain, professor.

  • Caboose

    Dude, you became a regular commenter like under a month ago. Shut up about how you know the SLAM boards better than myself, Nbk, and spit who were actually PART of those conversations.

  • Dagger

    Note the first six words of my comment.

    And it’s hard to take advanced stats out of the scope of the game, because they are ways of quantifying what happens in the game.

  • JJ Jones

    I didn’t say anything about SLAM boards I just said that people on different forums were saying that calm down

  • JJ Jones

    Kobe can play through injuries better. He has a higher pain tolerance.

  • Caboose

    So pick something unverifiable and claim it as true.

  • Caboose

    Wow. You’re a wizard dude, I mean, wow. That was brilliant. How do you have such insight? You must have met both Kobe and Wade, right?

  • JJ Jones

    Well lets compare kobe in the 2010 playoffs had one of his best runs in 2010-2011just with a degenerative knee and a broken shooting finger. Wade has a knee bruise and looks like a damn role player having his worst playoff run. Do u really see kobe sitting down for half the minor injuries that wade gets?

  • Caboose

    And how does that display pain tolerance? That tells me that perhaps the Lakers push players to play through injuries more than the Heat. Or that Kobe thought that him injured was more valuable playing than sitting, whereas Wade reached the opposite conclusion.

    “Pain tolerance” is NOT an argument that holds weight because it is inherently unjustifiable. Correlation does not equal causation.

  • JJ Jones

    Dude I just explained instances where kobe and wade both play through pain with one playing well and the other not so much. What more proof do u need?

  • JJ Jones

    Probably

  • JJ Jones

    What?

  • Caboose

    How do you know who is in more pain? You CANNOT know that. You assume that Kobe’s injuries are more severe, or painful, whatever, but how do you know? You do not.

    If you honestly wanna use the argument that a 35 year old Kobe will come back strong from an achilles tear but a 32 year old Wade will not come back from minimal foot injuries because of PAIN TOLERANCE, I’d certainly hope you’re not a medical student.

  • JJ Jones

    I wish I could get off work as many days as he does

  • Lloyd

    The Pacers don’t get as much media coverage as other teams with bonafide superstars though. Any sports show that doesn’t focus exclusively on basketball has other topics to talk about than borderline superstar players. John Wall and Kyrie don’t get blasted for their numbers either (the latter has been blasted because of the public way his team is self-destructing). Any time I see any basketball coverage, it’s always on the Heat, Lebron vs KD, any comment by Lebron, the latest underachieving team, the draft/free agency, and funny enough, the Clippers. In a sense, PG is still under the radar of most sports broadcasters to really get criticized too harshly by them. Indiana’s continued success defers that potential attention away too.

  • JJ Jones

    No cartilage in one knee vs a bone bruise in another knee that didn’t require surgery. Youre REALLY questioning who has a higher pain tolerance. I wonder who it was that got carried off in a damn wheelchair because of a SHOULDER injury crying. Kobe tore his ACHILLES and made two free throws while WALKING OFF THE COURT. And youre really questioning who has a higher pain tolerance. Come on dude its not that hard to figure out kobe was vote toughest player in the league for a reason

  • Feez_22

    A few things

    a) The nba is truly a superstar driven league. The media loves the superstar. Thus, it is totally understandable if lebron’s heat (who are the 2x nba champions) and durant’s thunder (whom are winning without westbrook and are led by the mvp favorite) take most of the media attention… they are the 2 best players in the nba and might be a rivalry depending on if they can both make the nba finals again.

    This years draft has been touted by some as one of the best in recent memory with several top prospects. Free agency is popular this year because it is a loaded FA class (lebron, melo, wade, bosh to name some). The pacers would get more attention if paul george were the superstar the media anointed him to be.

    b) Kyrie has received some tough criticism on his lack of leadership, lack of passing and bad defense. analysts ranging from stat geeks all the way to reputable reporters have documented this. Wall hasn’t received the criticism this yr but was bashed harshly last yr for his bad jumpshot (and rightfully so).

    George has literally played like a non factor the last 10+ games yet hardly any talk shows and even writers are talking about it. He is also not under the radar anymore. He is 4th on the nba’s mvp ladder (was as high as 2nd for some inexplicable reason) and has been mentioned as being “on the verge of superstardom” by analysts on espn (stephen a smith namely), nba tv and even tnt early in the season. I’ve heard many analysts say that the pacers should be the favorite in the east.

    I’m just saying this. If paul was considered as being on the verge of superstardom by all of these high profile pundits on espn, nba tv, etc, how is he not being criticized as such? it makes no sense to me considering that most of the media pundits know who he is now and gave him all of that high praise before he even proved it.

  • D Rose in the Rarest Clothes

    Same thing with Kyrie he is a great player, but doe not get his teammates involved much, he is a bad defender, he is inconstant, he never brought his team to the playoffs and he never played over 60 games since he joined the league. But he is only 21 so I expect him to work on these areas and become an excellent ballplayer.

  • D Rose in the Rarest Clothes

    I really, really, really want to fast forward when Derrick Rose is coming back.

  • JJ Jones

    Yeah so wade might not play in the all star game and was seen WARMING UP yesterday and u dont think something is going on? Especially when they said he was going to be playing consistently against at this point of the season? Youre in denial at this point sorry.

  • PG24fan

    Maybe but Paul George is just coasting into the All-Star break. The Regular season is a marathon NOT a sprint. Plus he has to worry about the Slam Dunk Contest and his baby mama drama.

  • PG24fan

    KD isn’t consistent on Defense. Your point?

  • PG24fan

    He finished 3rd in All-Star voting in the NBA. That is doing something.

  • PG24fan

    Be careful what you wish for……The Pacers and Heat went to game 7 last year. WTF are you talking about.

  • PG24fan

    Is it wrong for him to be confident? Now a days it seems like people hate it when a man is confident. There is nothing wrong with knowing that you are good or wanting to be the best. People need to hop of the Miami Bandwagon and stop acting like Lebron is some unstoppable force. The dude only has 2 rings and he barely got his 2nd. Paul George could very well end up with more rings than Lebron.

  • Marcuz

    That he could…he may very well end up with more rings than Bill Russell…but at this point for all his talk…he is yet to win a ring..let alone make the NBA Finals…

  • JJ Jones

    Nobody said he was dont be so sensitive. Paul george is not a superstar in this league right now. Lebron isn’t consistent on defense either so I really dont get what point youre trying to make

  • Max

    I think every basketball fan cosigs that last sentence.
    Especially with the rest of the East being so wack.

  • 2chainz

    Tim Duncan gets rested too but I don’t see you complaining about that.

  • 2chainz
  • Lloyd

    All the above reasons I listed are why he hasn’t got as much criticism.

  • LakeShow

    Tim Duncan is about to turn 38 years old you dumbass…

    Sorry, but common… Think harder

  • LakeShow

    These guys sometimes man… It’s sad when Bean isn’t even appreciated for obvious reasons. Of course he has one of the highest pain tolerances in NBA history… And Wade obviously does not…. Geezuz guys.

  • LakeShow

    He is a superstar. You have to realize he might be one of the top 10 defenders in the L while giving you 22 – 6.4 – 3.5 – 1.8 on 44% FG’s and 38% on 3′s on the best team in the East that he is the co-leader of.

  • LakeShow

    Coming from a fan of your favorite squad, no need to make excuses.

    He’s playing great. He’s in a slump, which is not out of the ordinary for young players.

    Just let their game do their talking for them. It’s that good.

  • JJ Jones

    I would consider that all star caliber but superstar caliber is a stretch for me his offense is just so non existant at times. I guess we have different definitions of what a superstar is.

  • JJ Jones

    I dont even understand how anyone could argue otherwise. Kobe has his faults but he is really becoming underrated and underappreciated for sure

  • LakeShow

    For me “Superstar” is pretty much top 10ish in the NBA hierarchy.

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