It’s been a rough start to the 2016-17 NBA season for Paul George and the Indiana Pacers. Not only is PG-13’s team struggling on the road, but George was fined $15,000 for punting a ball out of bounds in frustration that inadvertently struck a Fox Sports Indiana female employee in the face.
Just so you don’t come away thinking George is a complete menace, he did send the young lady who was hit by the basketball flowers and a note apologizing for his reprehensible action.
Paul George apologizes after kicking ball into stands and hitting a fan. He was ejected for his action. pic.twitter.com/YscKwnyZyJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 6, 2016
George is rightfully frustrated by the lack of tenacity from his teammates, as his early season numbers are better or equal to his stellar six-year career averages: 20.4 PPG, 3.1 APG, and 6.1 APG in 19.9 MPG. But there are two sides to every story. George is clearly an elite talent — so you’d expect that in the toughest of times that his leadership and skill set would be enough to motivate the troops. Yet, George himself recently fell victim to lackluster play that resulted in a thumping at the hands of the Charlotte Hornets, 122-100. On this particular evening, George was only able to shoot 4 of 12 from the field and 1 of 6 from behind the arc for a season-low 10 points.
We’re just not tied together. We’re allowing the home teams to have the advantage of being home. … We’re all out of whack. There’s no trust, there’s no chemistry, there’s no belief. We’re kind of just lifeless right now.
Offseason acquisition Thaddeus Young, who also had a night he’d soon like to forget (zero points in 16 minutes played) seemed to take a shot at the teams that handed the Pacers those four losses, while somewhat trying to inspire his mates.
Thad Young: “The crazy thing is we haven’t really played the toughest teams. When those teams come, they’re not going to play around.”
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) November 8, 2016
Maybe, just maybe Frank Vogel, who was fired at the completion of last season wasn’t the problem after all. I mean, there was never this type of in-fighting when Vogel led the team to a 45-37 record and No. 7 seed in the 2015-16 Eastern Conference playoffs. Only time will tell if new head coach Nate McMillan can form this club’s identity before he and team president Larry Bird begin to feel the heat.