As I predicted, LeBron James destroyed Paul George in Game 3 — and most of the damage came from the painted area.
LeBron James is 6-of-8 shooting against Paul George in Game 3 (5-6 in the paint)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 27, 2013
James is an astounding 24-32 from inside the paint in this series against the Pacers. Just incredible — looks like those summer workouts with Hall-of-Famer Hakeem Olajuwon have paid off.
Indiana elected not to double team Lebron while he’s in the post — a strategy may have cost them Game 3 and the possibility of taking a lead in this series. Let’s not forget that LeBron is a 6′ 8” and 250 pound dominant force — and a 216 pound Paul George simply cannot contain him in the post area.
On NBA.com James said,
“I made a conscious effort to sit down in the post tonight, try to put pressure on the defense. Spo and the coaching staff wanted me to be down there and my teammates allowed me to do that.”
Roy Hibbert, where were you to to help protect your man, Paul George, and the rim? You were quoted in the Washington Post, as saying
“I always tell guys, if they get beat, don’t foul them, I’ll be there to clean it up,”
It didn’t seem like you were there to clean it up last night.
Frank Vogel faced immense criticism for taking out Hibbert in the Game 1, however with Hibbert on the court in Game 3, the result was the same — a Heat win. After the game Hibbert said,
‘We have to do a better job of helping Paul out,’ he said. ‘LeBron can’t get five or six dribbles to get a post move. They really spread us out, so I wasn’t able to get down there as much.’”
LeBron finished with 22 points, while George was largely ineffective this game, only scoring 13 points on 3-of-10 shooting. George had to work hard defensively (he gave up about forty pounds to LeBron) and hardly had any energy left on the offensive end. Many were quick to label Paul George a superstar — but did Game 3 show that this instant reaction was simply prisoner-of-the-moment syndrome at it’s best (or worst)?
Game 3 might have been the Heat’s best game of the playoffs, so far. Major contribution from Udonis Haslem going 17 points on an incredibly efficient 8-for-9 shooting (Games 1-2 Haslem combined for a paltry 1-for-7 shooting and a meager 3 points) in only 23 minutes.
The Miami backcourt came alive — finally — as Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers combined for 32 points. The Birdman soared yet again going a perfect 4-4 from the field and chipped in nine points.
If LeBron continues to get help from his supporting cast, the Indiana Pacers won’t win another game, regardless of how well Paul George plays.