We likely will not know if the Pacers will have Paul George back from his concussion for Game 3 against the Heat until a few hours before tipoff Saturday.
George looked like a protected quarterback at Pacers practice Thursday, wearing a red vest and not going through any contact drills, just a couple shooting ones.
Candace Buckner of the Indy Star has the details:
George suffered a concussion in the third quarter of the Pacers/Heat Game 2, when in a scramble for a loose ball Dwyane Wade accidentally kneed George in the head.
George played the rest of the game but in post-game interviews said he blacked out for a bit, which led to a second round of tests and a concussion diagnosis. For him to be cleared to play he has to be symptom free (as proven by passing tests) after increasing levels of exertion. This all must be approved by both the team doctor and the league neurologist.
A legitimate discussion of how George got to continue playing after suffering a concussion is taking place in some parts of the league. The NBA cleared the Pacers staff of wrongdoing saying George exhibited none of the signs of a concussion, or at least didn’t admit them to the staff at the time.
But in a game where he had been off already (1-of-11 shooting) he floated through the remainder and didn’t really play with his usual aggression. Should the team doctors have noticed this? The coaches? Do the tests need to be changed — should he have at least gone back to the locker room for a more thorough examination?
It’s a good discussion to have, because a player with a concussion should not be back on the court.