After thrashing the New Orleans Pelicans en route to a 113-96 victory Tuesday night, Paul George wasn’t reluctant to talk about big things that he expects from his offense. The Indiana Pacers were oddly up-tempo under Nate McMillan, and it was a radically different play style.
Before McMillan, Frank Vogel was meticulous in the halfcourt and kept the Pacers freelance offense to a minimum. Tuesday, Indiana got out and ran. By the end of the night, Indy had hoisted up a whopping 104 shots, including 34 threes. As the Pacers begin to rely on play calling less and less, Paul George thinks their team can be one of the highest scoring in the league.
“We’ve been so used to a set or calling of plays and now we’re getting that freedom,” said George to Nate Taylor of the Indy Star. “I think that’s going to take some time, but once we get it, we could easily be a 115-point team a night.”
Last season, according to Basketball-Reference, Indiana averaged 102.2 points per game with a pace of 96.6, good enough for 17th and 10, respectively.
Going from 102.2 to 115 is a huge leap, though.
No NBA team has averaged that many points since the 1991-92 Warriors were led by Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway. (The 2015-16 Warriors ended the regular season at 114.9. I guess we can round up, right?)
Indiana will definitely see an increase from last season because of who they added over the summer, but it’s unlikely they be one of the top offenses in the league. PG will be at the head of all scoring, and Monta Ellis, Myles Turner, and Thaddeus Young won’t be far behind.
For them to reach that milestone, the latter three would need to hover around 15 points each while George hangs out around 25. The remaining guys on the roster wouldn’t need to contribute much, and it certainly seems more feasible with Jeff Teague and Al Jefferson on the roster.
If the Pacers elect to become more comfortable shooting threes, the odds of them being a juggernaut become greater, but 11/34 isn’t such a great start, even if it’s preseason.
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