The second Paul George said after Game 2 that he “blacked out” briefly after Dwyane Wade kneed him in the back of the head as the two scrambled for a loose ball, you knew this was coming.
George has been diagnosed with a concussion, the Pacers have announced. That makes his status for Game 3 uncertain — he will have to go through the league’s concussion protocol and be cleared to play not only by the Pacers’ doctor but also the league’s neurologist.
The Pacers say that after the play George “exhibited no symptoms of a concussion” and denied feeling dizzy or feeling nauseous, or any of the other signs of a concussion. That is why he was allowed to continue playing in what became a Miami win to even the series (the league said there will be no punishment as the team followed the league procedure).
After George said post game he had blacked out, more tests were run. Here is what the Pacers said in their press release:
He has been dialed by the team’s consulting neurologist with a concussion, based on his post-game reported that he had briefly lost consciousness during the game.
That means before he can be cleared to play he has to pass a series of mental tests after increasing levels of physical exertion (the findings are compared to a baseline taken before the season).
The Pacers and Heat are off until Saturday, when Game 3 takes place in Miami. The extra time off means it is more likely George could be cleared to play (compared to if the teams played Thursday, for example) but it depends on his recovery.
George struggled to score 14 points on 16 shots in Game 2 Tuesday, but over the course of the playoffs he has averaged 21.5 points per game on a True Shooting Percentage of .570.
Without George and on the road in Miami picking up a win would be difficult for the Pacers, who would miss George’s perimeter defense on one end and shot creation on the other.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.