Regardless of the outcome in Friday’s Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors, Paul George should be okay. So far, George has been magnificent in the postseason, but the Indiana Pacers are facing elimination through no fault of his own. Understandably, he’s willing to take on the entire burden to push the Pacers into a Game 7 showdown.
According to NBA.com, George is willing to play all 48 minutes in Game 6. He’s willing to go the extra mile to extend this series. “If that’s the direction the game is going, I’m all for it,” George stated after Thursday’s practice. “Whatever we got to do to win, I’m doing it.”
If Wednesday’s Game 5 was any indication, the Pacers may have to take George up on his offer. He scored 39 points, with eight rebounds and eight assists in 41 minutes of action. The Pacers were plus 15 with George on the floor. However, the Pacers were destroyed by the Raptors during George’s seven minutes of rest in the second and fourth quarters.
The Pacers lost the second quarter by six points. They lost the fourth quarter by 16 points. In the first half, George was able to stymie the Raptors’ run with big shots. Unfortunately, the Pacers couldn’t regain their groove in the final period. Still, George seemed to have back to back assists to tie the game. However, his second assist to Solomon Hill was waived off due to the ball being on his finger tips as time expired.
In a shocking turn of events, the Raptors won 102-99, and gave themselves a 3-2 series lead. Now the Pacers are on the brink of elimination. If George has anything to say about it, the Raptors will be on the brink as well.
No question, it will be a tall feat for George to play the whole game. He’s never played all 48 minutes in his career, and there was a reason why coach Frank Vogel subbed him at the end of the third quarter.
According to Vogel, George was a little tired midway through the second half, so he got a well-deserved rest. Chances are George will get tired again. Maybe the Pacers can get George a first quarter rest, leaving room to finish the game strong. Whatever the case, George is ready to give it his all in Game 6.