Thanks an exciting back-and-forth duel of one-upmanship, highlighted by a slapping of the hands at center court, LeBron James may have a new rival in the form of Paul George.
George, a second-year player out of Fresno State, went toe-to-toe with his Highness during the Pacers 97-93 win in Miami to tie the East Finals at 1-1.
The NBA’s Most Improved Player officially welcomed himself to the big stage with a facial on Chris Anderson, which in turn caused LeBron to respond in kind with a 30-foot three pointer, which would lead to the now famous slapping of hands between the two, serve’s as the King’s approval of his newest adversary from the heartland.
It is not too often to see two players go one-on-one in a playoff series that were meant to be, nor as thrilling as George and James. While this newest rivalry is not on the storied level of Bird vs Magic, Will vs Russell or even the epic Bird vs ‘Nique matchups of yesteryear.
George vs James could turn into the NBA’s newest marquee individual matchup thanks to both teams being in the same conference. While many consider Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, James’ main rival, George at 23 is as tall as LeBron—both are 6’8—with James having a 29-point advantage, 250 to 221.
Unlike Durant, George has more of a tendency to play defense, as witness in the two turnovers help force James into making. Also, unlike Durant, George is not afraid of going down into the low post directly to face James on the low block, while this is not a knock or slam against Durant, George isn’t afraid to get dirty and mix things up a bit.
As stated above, with both Indiana and Miami in the same conference and destined to meet for many more post-season clashes, the NBA stumbled upon a true diamond in the proverbial rough in George-James.
With both players entering their prime, and both teams likely to go a lengthy and physical seven games, James hand-slap at center court signaled the birth of a new rival and the playoff’s newest breakout star in George.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber