Paul George still “a ways away,” not playing March 14

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Weeks before Paul George went through his first practice, George himself hoped he wanted to make his return March 14 against Boston. But within hours of saying that, he was backing off that date a little talking to ProBasketballTalk.

“I want to (play this season),” George told PBT during All-Star weekend. “March 1st was the date I wanted to be able to full on practice without limitations or restrictions, and from there see where things go. But mid-March is ideally where I want to be able to make a comeback and play my first game. But it’s so many steps I have to take to get to that point it’s just a date I threw out.”

He’s not going to make that date, according to Pacers coach Frank Vogel. Via Jeremiah Johnson of Fox Sports Indiana.

The Pacers won their sixth game in a row and are now have won 12-of-14, which has them in the playoffs in the East. They have got good ball movement and flow on offense right now. Meaning they don’t need to rush George back for any reason. With him they are a far more dangerous playoff team, but what the Pacers need to think about is getting back to contender status next season and beyond. They need George right for that, not this playoff run.

That said, the Pacers may get an improved George back once he gets his legs under him.

“The only thing that I could have done for three or four months was dribble the basketball and shoot the basketball,” George told PBT last month. “So I definitely think my ball handling, and my shooting has improved, and my strength is improved. Those three were the biggest things I needed to work on going into the next season.”