By TIM DAVID HARVEY.
"This is my year to go get the MVP award"-Paul George.
Keep pace with this years MVP race and you'll see that it's more than just number 23, King LeBron James, or the leader of the Golden State Warriors big-three with one of his own from downtown, Steph Curry going for his third straight Maurice. And no we're not just talking about this years rivaling debate of former teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Basketball's equivalent of the Trump and Clinton nationwide divide...although both candidates here are actually nice people. No there's a bigger talent pool in the NBA stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and every division in-between. Guys like Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio or even James Harden in Houston. And between the Rockets and Spurs that's just two for Texas. But go East to a champion conference you once thought least and you will see that this game of thrones is more than just he who wears the heavy crown. There's a former number 24 (who gave all his old jerseys to his old high school in California...now how about that?!) trying to one-up number 23 and we aren't talking about the hyper-competitive Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant coming out of retirement like Mike already...although he probably is jealous of how the Lake Show future of D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram are going on without him under former teammate Luke Walton. No, for this 24 (now a PG-13 with a defensive advisory warning), you have to run the picket fence all the way to Hoosier country for a Pacer who is on track to take everyone to church faster than the Indianapolis 500 as he looks to take his team above that to the dot.
Indiana Pacers all-superstar Paul George is the most underrated franchise player in the game today. By far the best two-way player as former coach and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw can attest. But this year the man with two first names just may find himself with three initials and his surname engraved under Podoloff come season end. Championship or no playoffs. Although he is at the center of a crazy trade rumor right now involving Golden State's Klay Thompson that will buck stop his time in Indiana and send him across to Wisconsin for Milwaukee it's all hear say until we see the day. Although as of press time he's injured too-out against the Celtics-this go to guy is still a relevant factor right, damn now. Besides he's come back from worse. He's come back from an Indy 5.00 worth of fellow stars speeding off for their own lanes. From Danny Granger and Lance Stephenson, To Roy Hibbert and new Jazz note George Hill. And more importantly and critically he's come back from much worse injury. One that could have crucified his career...and has to others like loved legend of Toronto, Orlando and Houston, Tracy McGrady. But never fear the closest to that number one is (still) here. In body-type look to just the way he plays this game. All over the floor and all over the box score. From being slam dunk contest worthy to breaking Pacer legend Reggie Miller's record threes in one game. You know owner Larry Bird is smiling from the box above as G let's it fly. A gazelle like guard who's taller enough to hang with the bigs like a K.G. or K.D. P.G. is just that capable. From the Point Guard position to a P.F. When it comes to this game forget the MVP, George may as well have a P.H.D. Because his court education is making semesters out of everyone, rookie students or top all-first team scholars with Hall of Fame honor rolls. And speaking of team Paul has some firsthand help now too. Jeff Teague, Myles Turner, Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson, Thaddeus Young, Aaron Brooks, C.J Miles, Rodney Stuckey, Glenn Robinson the third, That's the roster. Ladies and gentleman, that's the playoffs!
Numbers don't lie for the 6,9, 220 pound, three time All-Star 26 year old in his perfect prime who is the truth. And come playoff time you'll see exactly why. And we aren't talking about no eight seed squeeze but homecourt advantage, set and match-up. You better believe. It's going to be quite the ball game whoever they get. Chicago? Toronto? The Land?! It will all add up from P.G.24's 21.9 points per game, to go along with 6.7 rebounds, 2,9 assists and 4 blocks per. Put Paul up against Jimmy Butler and he'll service him, a Cluedo crime will have happened but you'll know who did it. Up north, some six games later, DeRozan will get frozen out like someone turned the heating off in the Air Canada Center. And as for the 'Bron King champ of Believeland...well heads will roll one way another. You just have to see which way it falls. Because by George Paul is worthy of this type of contention consideration, not criticism. And if like Gene Hackman he ever does take his Hoosier Pacers to the promised land of dubbed superteams by his gold shorts, then the Golden State Of Californian will have to put Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and everyone else on the former injury red-shirt whilst he's making puddles of the Splash Brothers. Every Warrior except Steph could see in this years Team USA winning Olympics in Rio, Brazil that this guy is big game worthy of gold. in every carat, weight and sense of the metaphor and the literal podium place, with arguably the games biggest prize draped across his shoulders. Paul George has aligned with Cousins, Jordan's and Carmelo Anthony's. He knows all about squad assembling for the goals. Double-team him at your peril because you may need a big-three of your own. And even then he can kick it outside to hot guard shooters Monta and Teague on the perimeter and in a league of their own. And if that doesn't work, Paul could use one of those 2.9 assists per to get real personal and hand it off inside to Al Jeff or the rail-tall Myles Turner. Showing both this team and their man have enough height and running length to run laps on the association, in this small ball revolution, all whilst paying homage to the tough, old golden era of the big-man 90's. If you want to survive in this league you have to work on both ends of the floor, inside and out. And by having both and being all those things Indiana's Paul is your man in the middle, ready to be the most unselfish center of attention you've ever seen. Scoring points that don't just show up on his own stat sheet. After all when it comes to the leagues fantasy prototype player isn't that what makes you most valuable? Not just the ultimate superstar...but the definitive teammate. Perhaps in this game, in this life, that's the real reward.
And by George we think he's got it!