Why Paul George Has Been the Indiana Pacers' MVP Thus Far

Dilan AmesCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2014

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 18: Paul George #24 of the Indiana Pacers looks on during the game against the Miami Heat on December 18, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. 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. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2013 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

Paul George has been one of the more impressive players thiseason, and has been effective on both ends of the court for the Indiana Pacers. George's play has helped carry the Pacers to the best record in the NBA (31-7).  In two big wins over the Kings and Knicks this past week, George poured in 25-plus points in each contest.

The Pacers have won eight of their last ten, thanks in large part to George's shooting and consistency. He's far and away had the biggest impact of any player on Indiana's roster and look no further than the numbers to see that.

George leads the team in points per game (22.9) and steals per game (1.8), while also bringing down 6.3 rebounds per game. George has been very effective from the free throw line thiseason, shooting it at 86.4 percent thus far.

The 6'8" swingman leads the league in second half points, averaging 14.2 points in the final two frames and also leads his team in three-point field goal percentage.  

George has been an impressive player more often than not, but that's not to say he hasn't made mistakes thiseason. However, he's good at not making the same mistake twice. After going 2-14 from the field against the Washington Wizards on January 10, he bounced back in a big way against the Kings four nights later to the tune of 31 points on 10-of-18 shooting.

George has been much more than Indiana's most valuable player thiseason as he may end up as the MVP of the league. Pacers coach Frank Vogel recently spoke up about George's case for the league's best player, reported by NBA.com's Sekou Smith:

Winning has to count for something. Paul George could chase more shots and score more points every night, but he's sacrificing for the greater good. All of our guys are making individual sacrifices for what we want to do as a team.

In just three short years, George has become this team's leader and best overall player.  The Pacers have been contenders for the past couple of years, but George's sensational play could be what carries them all the way to the NBA Finals.

*All stats courtesy of ESPN.com*