Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Paul George struggled in the early part of November. And Right before the season started, the Indiana Pacers announced that Danny Granger would miss the first several months of the year.
It was thus up to Paul George to be the team's primary perimeter scorer.
Not blessed with the best ball-handling skills in the world, George pressed too much at the beginning. He dribbled into lanes where he could not make the defense pay. He mishandled the ball while making simple crossovers and pullback moves. He got into the lane and struggled to read the rotations and make the crisp pass to the right player.
Everything seemed to be happening a little too fast. Then, some time around Thanksgiving, everything slowed down.
Now, he is playing some of the best two-way basketball in the entire NBA. His defensive prowess has been mature beyond his years since he entered the league. His offensive game has caught up, and the result has been a stat line that shows just how versatile this young star in the making is.
Since a disastrous zero-point game against Golden State on December 1, he has been playing out of his mind. Heading into Sunday night's loss against the Brooklyn Nets, he had averaged 20.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.9 APG and 1.9 SPG on 44.8 percent shooting over his past 19 games.
Last week, during wins over the Miami Heat and New York Knicks—the only two teams ahead of Indiana in the Eastern Conference standings—he scored 54 points, grabbed 22 rebounds, notched six steals and hit six threes.
It doesn't take a lot of hands to count the number of players in the NBA capable of doing that over two games.