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.