Paul George can be great. HOF potential with the right guidance.
I am not a Pacer and never will be but George's unique combination of size and athleticism and his composure and great attitude makes him a talent whom is too hard to ignore.
The reasons why I believe he will be very successful is his scoring ability: He is already up there at 23, he just needs to bring the consistency out of it. Young T-Mac and Kobe were also young talents with ability to control a game with their scoring ability. However, what makes their situations different is George's understand of "team" basketball, the Pacers grew up together through great teamwork. Around the same age T-Mac&Kobe both were somewhat expected to carry the team at times. Paul has more potential as a team player type of franchise player. Another major factor which will eventually work in his favor is his great attitude but without the egotistic side showing so often.
His explosiveness after two steps is more effective than the young Kobe and with his 6-9 frame already has major advantage over Kobe's 6-6/6-7. T mac was so effective due to the size factor, athleticism and insane first step at6-8 was hard to consistently contain. However, George seems to have more game knowledge over young T-Mac due to team oriented offence and hopefully will be without the injuries.
I believe Paul George's talent level is somewhat similar to a pre-injury T-Mac.
Poor T-Mac was stopped only by his body.
Barring injury, George will become something great.
I think for Paul George to reach his full potential, he needs to use his size to his advantage more often. He is already an elite defender and athlete, but he needs more skill. Developing a post game and attacking the basket more effectively are things he needs to work on instead of settling for 3s and long 2s.
I love George's game and cannot wait to see how he develops.
At 23 Kobe was winning championship so how can u say he wasn't a team player....get real! U better go on YouTube and check Kobe highlights when he was # 8! Paul is taller but not even close to better at the same age. He isn't on the same level as tmac when he was 23! He has a better supporting cast, David West, and Roy Hibbert ! Only good player tmac had was 7'6 Ming. Don't get me wrong Paul George is a good player but he isn't great or a super star yet. In a couple years he could be an super star but right now he isn't!
While I get your general point for posting this article and agree about Paul George's potential, some of your analysis regarding the comparisons between him and both T-mac and Kobe are somewhat off (more so for Kobe). First, you overestimate George's CURRENT scoring ability. His potential in that regard is definitely tantalizing but he only averaged around 17 points for the season and 19 for the playoffs, with generally sub-par efficiency. At 23, both Kobe and T-mac were 25+ (even 30+) point scorers on average. You also overestimate Paul George's "explosion." (Yes, I've seen his dunks against the Heat) I watch Pacer games mostly to track Paul George's development and one thing I observed is he's not really that explosive as he is athletic. There's a difference. Of course due to sheer athleticism and even just the ample amount of explosion he's able to posterize the way he did against the Heat but, he doesn't always go up strong and he gets limited when gathering in traffic.
Also, regarding your statement about George seeming to have more game knowledge over T-mac, you kinda contradicted yourself already with your explanation. You said that it's because of the more team-oriented offense he plays in. Did you think that maybe the reason why he's so effective is because of the system he plays in? If the Pacers ran the offense through Paul George the way the Magic ran their offense through T-mac, how do you think they would fair? I would say definitely not as well as they did this past season, tho they would have probably still made the playoffs due to their overall talent as a team and the weak East. One more thing you forgot to note is Paul George's ball-handling ability. I've noticed he's worked on it but, he still has ways to go in order to be at Kobe and T-mac's level at that age.
And I would just like to point out an interesting thing I noticed regarding Paul George in the post-season. For me, what makes him such an exciting player to follow to stardom is his ability to make an all-around effect in the game. However, in the playoffs, as his scoring went up, his rebounds, steals, and blocks all went down (quite significantly). His turnovers also shot up. Way up. If he's going to sacrifice those numbers for his scoring, for me, he loses the things that makes him such a likable player to all of us - especially if you consider his inefficiency. Tho he did shoot well against the Heat, I think it was more having a good series than anything else.
Hope you all understand the things I'm pointing out. I am by no means a Paul George hater, but I am just pointing out things that a lot of his fans neglect to see in favor of all the hype around him and his potential.
Realistically, Paul George's ceiling is not that of a Kobe or T-Mac, and I'm not hating, George is my current favorite player in the NBA, but he'll never be that type of player. If he was to be compared to any player, it would have to be Scottie Pippen. Long, lanky, athletic, versatile, can defend multiple positions, if I were George I would aim in that direction. I doubt he will ever be a 30 points per game scorer, but I have no doubt he can fill a boxscore and shut down the opponent's best player.
I think the hype train for George is going way too fast for what it's worth.
Rare talent, 6"10 SG/SF who can slash, pass, rebound, defense and stretch the floor.
George was a 41% FG shooter on 17 points with 3 turnovers. Without Granger, others were going to get more touches and scoring opportunities.
He has good handles for a 6"10 guy, but he's also clumsy with the ball averaging 4 turnovers in the playoffs.
His 41% career FG in the playoffs...it's very low for such a big guy. Given it's his first 3 seasons, he will obviously get better. But right now, George seems like an average efficient guy in terms in scoring.
Question is, can George average 25 PPG and be a primary scoring option without giving up 4 turnovers a game and shooting 40%?
Would George fit better as a second option?
With that said, I don't think George has the efficiency in scoring to be an MVP candidate in the future, especially with LeBron in the league.
Like the previous poster said, I think George will be a skinnier version of Scotty Pippen.
"I think the hype train for George is going way too fast .... I think George will be a skinnier version of Scotty Pippen."
Why the hell is Scotty Pippen being used as a "more realistic comparison" for people who don't think George will live up to his hype? Did Pippen stop being a HOFer when I wasn't looking?
His offense looks more like a glorified Rudy Gay at this point. Not trying to make that sound like he's terrible by any means. It's just that they both have good (not great) handles, are super athletic, but struggle with their jumpshots. I think he'll surpass Gay's offensive skills though and take another leap next season as he's only 23.
Plus, George's defense separates him from so many others. I already like him ahead of Melo because of it.
Nah, it's simply because he will never be a volume scorer a la Kobe or T-Mac and more of ann all-rounder like Pippen. I wasn't saying that implying that the other 2 comparisons were superior, simply to illustrate the type of ceiling George has.
I doubted Paul George's star potential before this season. I even doubted it at the beginning of the season. I just didn't see an aggressive offensive player. I saw a very good athlete, but not a GREAT athlete. I didn't see Tracy McGrady or Kobe Bryant first step and athleticism. I saw a player who settled for long jumpers and didn't get to the free-throw line. I saw a limited ball handler and passer. I just didn't see it. I thought he'd just be a good two way player who was at best a 3rd option on offense.
BUT then... At some point this season, something just changed. It clicked. I saw a better ball handler and passer. I saw a better mid-range game. I saw more confidence/aggression on offense. I still didn't see a guy a guy who was getting to the free-throw line as much as I'd like, but I saw improvement. I saw a guy who was filling the stat sheet and impacting games even when he didn't have it going offensively. I saw a player who was dedicated to being one of the best rebounders at his position. I saw point forward ability.
Then in the playoffs, despite some ups and downs, I saw some serious star potential. His matchups weren't easy and got more difficult every round. First it was Josh Smith. Then it was Carmelo Anthony. Then it was LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Overall, his playoff numbers were 19.2 points on 43% FG (32.7% 3PT), 72.7% FT (4.9-6.7), 7.4 REBS, 5.1 ASTS, 0.5 BLKS, 1.3 STLS and 3.9 TOS. While LeBron is the greatest player in the world, I thought George looked like he belonged. The dunk over Chris Anderson was impressive, but what was even more impressive was the quick first step he used to leave LeBron in the dust.
I'm sold. I think the sky's the limit. He still has some work to do on his game no doubt, but I'm a believer in his work ethic and hunger to be great. Can he be McGrady? I don't think he'll be the high scorer McGrady was, but I think he'll develop a lot of the same offensive tools. I can see him developing into a mix of McGrady and Scottie Pippen. I think he's the 4th best small forward in the NBA right now and I wouldn't be shocked if he's viewed as being better than Melo by the end of next season.
He's already better than Melo. At 23, able to play well on both sides of the ball, and play within the team, I'd rather take him over a volume shooter who gets beat up on D.
IF I was building a team heading forward, there's no doubt I'd take PG over Melo.
However, IF you asked me who I'd rather have today. That's tough. I'd probably take Melo just because he's such a better offensive player. It's tough though because like you said... Melo doesn't really provide defense, can be a ball stopper on offense, etc.
Melo is much better right now, he was 3rd in MVP voting this season behind LeBron and Durant. I understand George is a better defender, had a great playoffs but he isn't a superstar like Melo yet.
MVP voting doesn't justify it. For example, where did Tony Parker place in the MVP voting and where's Melo now? If you want someone who is excellent on one side of the ball then you choose Melo, but it's only half the game. I'd rather have someone more well-rounded in George who plays well on both sides, is several years younger, and is more of a team player.
And what's the definition of a superstar anyway? If George was a global icon, I'm sure he'd be labeled one too.
Once you play the if game, you lose strength of any argument.
Melo is a primary scoring option and can score in a variety of ways effective. Despite his roller coaster season with the Knicks, Melo is a go to guy. George right now has his limits.
George is a better team player, but so is Shane Battier.
We're comparing these guys individually, Melo has more skills, experience, talent and accolades. He's been doing this longer than Paul George. Paul George just had his break out season...now all of a sudden he's better than Melo?
You need to wait dude, wait 3-4 years till George can do this again and improve each season(since that's what we're expecting) How will George handle being the primary scoring option? Can he handle it? What happens when injury hits George? Can he go out like Brandon Roy? We don't know the future, so lets no presume it.
Right now, Carmelo is easily a better talent than George.
People act like Melo isn't an all around player when he averages 6-7 rebounds 2-3 assist and played better post defense than Tyson Chandler this season. Being the scoring champion doesn't make you one dimensional, I promise you Melo isn't a lock down defender due to lack of effort and dedication, but he was pretty successful defending guys in the post and forcing them to take tough shots. I watched about 65 Knicks games and was impressed with Melo's footwork on defense. His perimeter defense needs work. Just like Paul George's offense needs work, George can handle the ball for a 6"10 man, but with all those assist he averages, he gives up 3-4 turnovers per game. Carmelo kept his turnovers to 2.5 which is very low for a guy who led the league in scoring. Both guy have their weaknesses. But you seriously overrated Paul George.
Don't think he should have been an All-Star this season because of his 41% FG shooting but boy did this guy show up for the playoffs.
He's going to be a legit 26-8-5 with excellent defense type of guy. He just needs to improve his shooting consistency.
He needs a nickname.
its funny to think that he can end up being the best player from his draft class.... I really didn't think he can become this good this fast...I also doubted he had superstar potential... but he has it
iv'e already compare him to a more talanted Grant Hill, a little bit smoother and better range!
Lol, let's be clear here, a healthy 90s Grant Hill >>> Paul George. Hill was a more skillful / less physically strong version of LeBron before LeBron.