Paul George scored a postseason career-high 30 points and added 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the series to lead the Pacers past the Hawks and into an Eastern Conference semifinals match up with Washington.
“Paul George really carried us for a lot of the game on the offensive end. He’s a gamer. The bigger the stakes, the better he’s going to play,” Indiana Coach Frank Vogel said after the game.
Luckily for Washington, they have George’s kryptonite: Trevor Ariza. George shot just 31.3 percent in 96 minutes while Ariza was on the floor during the regular season.
Bullets Forever explains why the Wizards can continue to keep George from getting a clean look from midrange:
They’re not like most teams that have one single philosophy for defending the ball screen. Most of the time, they do hang their big men back into the lane, fearing they lack the foot speed to keep up with ball handlers. But they will sporadically send their big men out to contain ball handlers, and that’s largely due to their speed on the wings to cover up any openings.
Expect Ariza’s tenacious defense to push George back towards half court, disrupting his flow and forcing him to reset.
“[Atlanta Hawks] were the eighth seed and it showed us, if we’re not on our ‘A’ game, anybody can beat us. ” George said after the series victory.