In four NBA seasons, Paul George has become an elite player for the Indiana Pacers. The six-foot-nine small forward can score, pass, rebound, shoot from outside and defend. Last season, he led the Indiana Pacers to the number one seed in the East and 56 regular season wins.
The two-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA Defensive First Team member suffered a gruesome leg injury during a Team USA scrimmage this past summer and will be out this upcoming NBA season. At only 24 years old and with a top rehab team around him, George should be able to recover, but no matter how hard you work to get back playing, severe injuries don’t always cooperate.
With question marks surrounding him, Pacers and NBA fans are hoping for the best for one of the best talents in the game today.
George was selected with the 10th overall pick by the Pacers in the 2010 NBA Draft. He was a raw player coming out of FresnoState but has great athleticism and size. In his first season, he averaged less than 10 points per game but emerged in his second season with Indiana, he earned a starting job and averaged over 12 points, five rebounds and a steal per game.
In his third NBA season, he took the leap forward that superstars make early in their career. He led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals and pushed LeBron James and the Heat to the brink. He averaged career-highs in points, rebounds assists and steals on his way to his first All-Star game appearance.
Last season, the Pacers were determined to take the Heat out after failing the previous two seasons.
They gained home-court advantage for the Eastern Conference behind George’s career-high 22 points per game. His best work was done on the defensive end though where he was a member of the All-NBA Defensive Team.
With James, Kevin Durant and other big stars sitting out the FIBA World Championships, it was George who was tasked with leading the team and being the icon. However, in a scrimmage that all changed and quickly his career fortunes changed in a blink. The injury was one of the worst you could ever imagine and his teammates were heartbroken by it.
George underwent surgery shortly after the injury though and began the long process back to playing.
Nothing is guaranteed in sports and George recovering 100 percent is not guaranteed either. He is an elite player and hasn’t even hit his prime yet. For someone who relies on their athleticism a lot though, injuries can spell doom for them. George has already begun walking in a walking boot which is a positive step forward.
With his eye now on the 2015-2016 season, George has plenty of time to heal up and get back to normal but the question marks hanging over his injury are concerning. Only time will tell when 13 months from now George plans to suit up for his first regular season game since his injury.
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