Indiana Pacers: West and George Carrying Load Without Granger

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIDecember 1, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 30: David West #21 of the Indiana Pacers celebrates a fourth quarter basket with Paul George #24 while playing the Orlando Magic in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2012 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indiana won the game 93-78 to tie the series 1-1. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers won against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night 97-92.  This gives the Pacers a record of 8-8 on the season.  

After a very shaky start, they have now won four of their last five.  With the absence of Danny Granger due to injury, the Pacers are beginning to turn it around thanks to two of their best players.

David West has played very well recently without Granger in the lineup.  West currently is averaging 17.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, leading the team in both categories.  He has kept his field goal percentage close to what is was last year, shooting 48.3 percent.  However, he has increased his scoring by nearly five points per game, which is a big jump.

West showed that he is the guy to step in for Granger on Friday night.  West had 31 points on 13 of 20 shooting.  His impressive shooting overshadowed his 11 rebounds, giving him a rather impressive double-double.

Paul George is in his third year in the NBA, and he is now expected to be one of the star players for this team.  George is averaging 14.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.  All of these numbers have increased from last year's averages, which is quite promising.  His ability to be a solid all-around player is a good sign for his development on the team.

George struggled mightily against the Kings, scoring only four points, shooting only 2 of 11.  While this was a very bad game for him, he has showed some promise lately.  He scored 37 points against the New Orleans Hornets a few weeks ago.  He was able to break Reggie Miller's franchise record for three pointers made in a game, making nine of them.  Games like this will happen more often as George develops as a scorer.

At a record of 8-8, the Pacers have a lot of room to improve.  While Granger will not come back for a while, the Pacers will need to depend on the contributions of George and West to get them through this difficult stretch.