Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Saturday, May 24, the morning after we learned that Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George has been cleared to play.
George sustained a concussion in the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat Tuesday night, as Miami evened the Eastern Conference Finals at a game apiece and left Indiana with a 5-6 record at home during the playoffs—compared to the gaudy 35-6 mark the Pacers posted during the regular season.
“Under the care of the Indiana Pacers’ medical staff, Paul George has spent the past three days engaged in the NBA’s Return-to-Participation Exertion Protocol as part of the NBA’s Concussion Policy,” the Pacers said in a statement.
“George remained symptom free after each step of the process. The Pacers staff consulted with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the NBA’s Director of Concussion Management, throughout George’s progress through the protocol and Friday cleared him to return to normal basketball activity.”
That is all a fancy way of saying the phone is no longer ringing in George’s head and he’s good to go for Game 3 Saturday night in Miami.
George seemed to indicate on Friday that he’d have been better off not saying anything at all.
“I probably should have kept that to myself,” George said of his revelation Tuesday that he had “blacked out” when whacked in the back of the head by Dwyane Wade’s knee during a scramble for a loose ball.
“It just made a mess. That’s something that, going forward, just keep that between myself and the training staff.”
In the playoffs, George is averaging 21.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game and has produced a shooting slash of .425/.422/.827.
In the first two games against the Heat, George has 38 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds while going 11-for-29 from the floor overall (37.9 percent). But he’s 5-for-11 (45.5 percent) from deep and has gotten to the foul line 14 times, making 11, while drawing 10 fouls.
George’s importance in the first two games of the series is evident by this set of statistics (h/t NBA.com/Stats):
- On court: Pacers are plus-10.4 points per 100 possessions.
- Off court: Pacers are minus-23.4 points per 100 possessions.
I’ll go out on a limb and declare that a 33.8 net differential per 100 possessions is … significant.
The Daily NBA Fix will focus on the happenings around the Association, along with a look at the daily lines for those who want to drop a buck or two on a wager.
Here’s a Phantom-cam look at George’s highlights from the 2013-14 season: