The Indiana Pacers currently hold the best record in the NBA with a 16-2 record through their first 18 games. One of the biggest reasons that the Pacers have found so much early success is because of their newly-extended superstar Paul George.
George, who received a max-deal from the Pacers this off-season, has improved on his impressive third season in the NBA, and has seen his numbers improve almost across the board. George is averaging nearly 25 points per game while shooting .470/.412/.835. George is getting to the line more often, hitting a higher percentage of his shots and scoring at a higher rate with defenses focused on slowing him down.
Why has George continued to improved? A lot of it has to do with him modeling his game after Kobe Bryant, and hearing the stories Brian Shaw used to tell him stories about Bryant’s workout regimens, according to The Solar News.
“I had a lot of growth from having (Shaw) and hearing about how Kobe prepares and gets ready for games,” George said. “(Kobe) is somebody that plays both sides of the ball. He’s willing to put everything on the line. I’m going to give everything I have, and try to affect the game in every way I can.”
George, who wears number 24 because of Bryant, shows flashes of Bryant’s game on a nightly basis and continues to improve on his game. While George was fantastic all of last season, his real coming out party was in last year’s post season when he and his Pacers went toe-to-toe with LeBron James and the Heat.
George should continue his growth on both sides of the ball. George was 2nd in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season, and has been even better this year as he’s currently posting a defensive rating of 91 on the year. It should be fun to watch one of the disciples of Bryant continue to improve in the NBA.
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