Paul George, who one could argue has been the second best player in the NBA this season after LeBron, erupted for 43 points against the Blazers in one of the best games of the young NBA season last night. But Portland won, 106-102. It was just Indiana’s second defeat of the season in 18 games. George kept Indiana in the game with a flurry of 3-pointers late in the game, and when watching the above video, definitely wait for the bomb at the 3:01 mark.
As strange as this may sound, George is only the 2nd story here: Portland is 15-3! Tied for the best record in the West with San Antonio!
It’s been a wacky six months in Portland. LaMarcus Aldridge wanted out prior to the draft. Their first round pick, C.J. McCollum, is injured and still hasn’t played a minute. In free agency, Portland fortified its biggest needs without any splashy signings: a legitimate center to help Aldridge inside (Robin Lopez), and some pop off the bench (Thomas Robinson, Mo Williams). I surmised the Blazers would compete for one of the final playoff spots; I never envisioned a run like this.
Portland’s losses, strangely, are to the Suns (twice) and Rockets. Quality wins include the Spurs, Warriors and now Pacers. A word of caution, though: the Blazers have eight wins against the lowly East, and two against the Kings. There are some real tests ahead this month: Two against Oklahoma City (one is Wednesday), and games against the Clippers and Heat (what fun Christmas week that’ll be).
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