Paul George: With newfound freedom Pacers could score 115 a game

Associated Press

Some coaches like to micromanage the game, to call all the plays and try to have as much control over what is happening on the court as possible.

Others give their players a lot of freedom within an outline of structure and trust their instincts just to make plays.

Frank Vogel is in the first camp, but he is out in Indiana and is now managing games in Orlando. The Pacers new coach Nate McMillan is in the later camp, and he wants his team to run a lot more. That’s been an adjustment through training camp and the start of the preseason, Paul George told Nate Taylor of the Indy Star, but once they get used to it watch out.

“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.”

The Pacers scored 102.2 points a game last season, which was in the middle of the NBA bell curve, and they played at a just slightly faster than average pace. This season expect both of those numbers to go up.
Part of that is McMillan taking the reins off and just letting the team run and freelance. The other part of this is a talent upgrade — Jeff Teague at the point is an upgrade over George Hill, Thaddeus Young gives them more depth, and Myles Turner should take a big step forward in his second season at the five.
If the Pacers find the comfort level that George talked about while continuing to play good defense, this team could have home court in the first round of the playoffs. They are potentially that good. There are a few teams at that level in the East, but don’t sleep on the Pacers.