Paul George thinks Pacers ‘could easily be a 115-point team a night’
New Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan wants to install more of an up-tempo, freewheeling offense in his first year at the helm, and it looks like his star forward is already starting to buy into it.
In an interview with Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star after a 113-96 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in their preseason opener on Tuesday, three-time All-Star Paul George was optimistic about Indiana’s offensive upside for the coming season.
“Everything was just free flow and we’re still trying to figure that out,” George said. “We’ve been so used to a set or calling of plays and now we’re getting that freedom. I think that’s going to take some time, but once we get it, we could easily be a 115-point team a night.”
For some context, the Pacers ranked 17th in the NBA last season with 102.2 points per game. They also clocked in 10th in the league with an average of 99.0 possessions per 48 minutes.
While those numbers are sure to take a leap now that the team is no longer employing the slower, more methodical offense of ex-head coach Frank Vogel, George still seems a bit idealistic here. No team in the 21st century has ever averaged 115 points per game over an entire season (though the 73-win Golden State Warriors, who may be a significant outlier, did come dangerously, dangerously close last year with 114.9 points per game).
The Pacers should become more of a run-and-gun team now that Jeff Teague, who is excellent at playing in pace and attacking off the dribble, has replaced George Hill at the point guard position and Thaddeus Young, an athletic forward who runs the floor well, has entered the fold. But perhaps George, who has been known to exaggerate in the past, should set a more realistic goal for the Pacers in 2016-17 like a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference, which is very much within their capability.
*Stats courtesy of NBA.com*