Pacers’ Paul George: ‘There’s no trust, there’s no chemistry, there’s no belief. We’re kind of just lifeless right now’

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Paul George entered the season talking about winning MVP, challenging LeBron James for Eastern Conference supremacy and the Pacers scoring 115 points per game

It took fewer than five games for George to be so frustrated, he kicked a ball that hit a fan.

Indiana’s latest setback, a 22-point loss to the Hornets, has George fuming.

George , via Nate Taylor of IndyStar:

“We’re all out of whack,” George said. “There’s no trust, there’s no chemistry, there’s no belief. We’re kind of just lifeless right now.”

It’s worth taking a step back. The Pacers are 3-4, hardly debilitating. Indiana had high expectations after Larry Bird revamped the team, but 3-4 isn’t that bad, and neither is a one-game losing streak.

Still, the Pacers have shown structural problems that should concern them. Point guard Jeff Teague has struggled mightily after Indiana traded George Hill for him, and that’s handcuffing the offense. The defense is bad at everything but forcing turnovers, though at least that risk-taking strategy generates fastbreak points.

Solving these issues won’t be easy. For now, the Pacers should hope they stay afloat in the playoff race while they address their deficiencies, and so far they’re doing that. It’s not nearly time to panic yet – unless the competitive George is doing more than overreacting to a small sample of mediocrity. If he sees deeper problems that we don’t and is referring to those, Indiana could be in store for hard times.

But I tend to think this is more likely about expectations and George’s perfectionism. That said, even if that’s the case, he can’t let his dissatisfaction lead to a toxic culture. He must help his teammates channel it into improvement.