Paul George: I Need to Do a Better Job Guarding LeBron James

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Paul George: I Need to Do a Better Job Guarding LeBron James
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Paul George, like so many others in the NBA, has officially felt the wrath of LeBron James.

Following the Miami Heat's Game 3 romping of the Indiana Pacers, George took responsibility for LeBron's series-long escapades.

"I have to do a better job battling him down there," he said of LeBron (via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports).

George's sentiments came on the heels of a 22-point and three-assist outing by The King, one that saw LeBron absolutely manhandle the budding 23-year-old in the post. But he wasn't just making reference to Game 3. 

Through the first three games of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron is averaging 29.3 points and 5.3 assists on 55.7 percent shooting. This comes one year after he put up 30 points and 6.2 assists on 50.4 percent shooting in the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals against George.

Until Game 3, LeBron's performances weren't as prevalent of an issue, though. He was getting his points and had a Game 1 triple-double to his credit, but the Pacers were putting themselves in a position to win.

Game 1 saw Indiana nearly steal an overtime thriller in Miami, and the Pacers managed to steal Game 2 at the American Airlines Arena. It didn't matter that LeBron had totaled at least 30 points in each of those first two performances.

Incurring an 18-point massacre at home was an eye-opener. George and the Pacers couldn't let LeBron have his way if they wished to advance to the NBA Finals.

His 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting may not seem like much, and for him, it isn't. But LeBron's Game 3 showcase wasn't about how many points or assists he totaled—it was about how he got them.

The Chosen One bullied George. He has roughly 30 pounds on the blossoming star and he used every one of them. And it left George lost on both ends of the floor.

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When he wasn't unsuccessfully battling LeBron on the defensive end, he was floundering on offense. George hit on just three of his 10 shots and coughed up the ball five times. He was drowning, and there was nothing he nor anyone else could do to save him.

"Our defense isn't designed to let him take five, six, seven dribbles and just back his way to the basket," Indiana's David West said of LeBron. "We've got to get there and help Paul."

George better hope that help is on the way, because he won't be able to contain LeBron on his own. To do so borders on impossible. George isn't the first to discover this. And he certainly won't be the last.

 

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