In the Bonus: George's struggles taking a toll

In the Bonus: George's struggles taking a toll
March 11, 2014, 5:00 pm
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Throughout this season, Indiana Pacers star Paul George has made it look so easy. But Indiana's Mr. Do-It-All is human. Like every NBA player, he too has to at times work through scoring slumps.

And it's not a coincidence that George's recent struggles have directly impacted the Pacers who come into tonight's game against Boston having lost a season-high four straight.

"It's something to be concerned about," Indiana's George Hill told the Indianapolis Star, in reference to the losing streak. "But I don't think it's going to tear our season apart."

Maybe not, but the Pacers need George to start tearing up the league again.

During the team's four-game losing streak, he has averaged 17 points. Prior to that, he was hitting teams for  22.6 every night. His shooting in the three major scoring zones -- three-point range, mid-range and in the paint -- have all been down during the four-game slide.

After shooting a respectable 37.6 percent on threes through the first 59 games, George's long-ball accuracy has dipped to 28.6 in the last four. A similar drop exists  in his mid-range game where he's knocking down just 31.3 percent in the last four games compared to a solid 41.5 percent through the first 59 games.

When it comes to scoring in the paint, George was connecting on 52.8 percent of his shots through the first 59 games, but has taken a slight drop to 47.6 in the last four.

George's emergence as the Pacer's go-to scorer came after making a name for himself as a better-than-average defender.

"I've always had an ability to make and create shots," he told earlier this season. "I had the ability to make tough shots, but it just took time. I had guys ahead of me."

Among them being Danny Granger who was recently traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, received a buyout and then signed with the Los Angeles Clippers who are coached by former Celtics head man Doc Rivers.

"As the years went on, I wanted more from myself," George said. "And defense wasn't getting me into the elite class; I had to get some buckets. I really wanted to come out as a complete player."