Paul George didn't exactly bust onto the scene Thursday night, but his performance in the Pacers' 81-76 win over the New York Knicks cemented his status as the leading man for Indiana. George's line includes a little bit of everything. George led the Pacers in points, rebounds, assists and steals while scoring 17 of his 24 points in the second half to help seal the victory for Indiana.
Indiana has knocked off the top two teams in the East in back-to-back games and have climbed into third place in the conference. Their performance is turning heads around the league, but it was George that cemented his status as a potential All-Star with his game against the Knicks that set the NBA Twitterverse on fire.
Really important game for Paul George just now. He'd already turned into a signature star but doing it on national TV cements it.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) January 11, 2013
PS: I love when "potential" guys actually start hitting their potential... so rarely happens but it's happening with George. He's a beast.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) January 11, 2013
George has stepped his game up in the absence of Danny Granger and has stepped out of his shadow in the process. The third-year forward is averaging career highs in points (16.7), rebounds (7.4) and assists (3.7). His six steals against the Knicks were a career high.
So can we agree Harden > George > Batum > Gay?— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) January 11, 2013
Paul George heats up -> game becomes watchable. Swoon.— Noam Schiller (@noamschiller) January 11, 2013
Said it Tuesday and I'll say it tonight: How is Paul George not an All-Star?— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) January 11, 2013
If the Pacers continue their good play and George continues his, then there is a good chance that his name creeps into the All-Star discussion.