Paul George on LeBron James: ‘I’m ready for it’
by Mike Wells, USA TODAY Sports
INDIANAPOLIS — At some point Thursday night, Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George plans to plop down on his couch, remote in hand, with his thumb ready to wear the device’s buttons out.
The featured attraction? Game action versus the Miami Heat from earlier this month.
Play. Stop. Rewind. Play. Over and over again.
George wanted to see why the Pacers were successful in beating the Heat on Jan. 8.
A lot of it had to do with George.
The Pacers third-year forward got the best of Heat do-everything player LeBron James in their head-to-head matchup. George had 29 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one turnovers to James’ 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and seven turnovers in the Pacers’ 10-point victory.
Round II of George vs. James is Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a nationally televised game.
George isn’t naïve; he knows he’ll have his hands full against James and the Heat.
James isn’t considered the premier player in the world for no reason. His competitive nature is expected to bring out the best in James, despite the hug and kind words the two All Stars exchanged after their last meeting.
“Hopefully I don’t have to remind him what LeBron is capable of,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s the best player in the world by far. Paul had a great game against him last game. He’s got to bring it on both ends. It’s a tough match up for him to guard LeBron the whole game and to go back at him, too, the way LeBron is capable of defending. It’s going to be a tall task.”
As well as George has played over the past two months, his performance against the Heat was a signature moment. The Heat are routinely one of the best defensive teams in the league and there isn’t a better all-around player in the league than James.
James didn’t have to work as hard defensively in the past against the Pacers because they were too occupied with trying to contain his offensive game.
But George mixed it up and attacked James on offense. It was similar to what James did on the other … [For more on Pacers' Paul George on LeBron James: 'I'm ready for it', click here.]