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#pounditMonday, November 30, 2020

Paul George: ‘I was in a dark moment’ the first two months of the season

Riding an active six-game winning streak, the Indiana Pacers are playing some great basketball right now, and star forward Paul George can certainly appreciate how much better things are than they were earlier in the season.

In an interview with Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports that ran on Monday, George admitted the first two months of the season were a major struggle.

“I was in a dark moment, a low moment,” George said. “I had a bunch of ankle injuries going on. The team wasn’t meshing well. The chemistry between myself and Jeff (Teague) wasn’t where it should’ve been. … I’m the guy who has to bring it on both ends, and I wasn’t feeling like I was capable of doing it physically. So it was wearing on me.”

But the four-time All-Star said he had an epiphany before a Jan. 12 game against the Denver Nuggets.

“I had a night of prayer and a morning of refreshment,” he continued. “I’m doing and doing what I love to do, blessed to play this game. That’s honestly what changed it – just being happy in the moment I’m in and enjoying it. … Now, I’m in a good place physically and emotionally.

“Right now, we’re starting to learn, we’re starting to figure each other out, we’re starting to gain some identity and we’re starting to get some chemistry,” George concluded. “That’s the difference.”

Indiana started the season flat, hovering south of .500 for much of those first two months as George vented against teammates and fans alike. But since his epiphany, the Pacers have won eight of their 12 games and have jumped to sixth in the East. Still, with their next eight games coming against Oklahoma City, Cleveland (twice), Washington (twice), Milwaukee, San Antonio, and Memphis, that turning point will be put to the test these next couple of weeks.

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