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Paul George Looks Like the 2nd-Best Player in the East

It’s hard to forget the sight of Paul George writhing on the ground in pain when he fractured his leg at a USA Basketball scrimmage in 2014. The injury cost George most of last season, and after an eventful offseason that featured a lot of hand-wringing over what position he’d play moving forward, he struggled at the outset of this year.

But since that poor start, George has raised his game to new heights and has staked his claim as the second-best player in the Eastern Conference (all due respect to Jimmy Butler, John Wall, Andre Drummond and the healthy Cavaliers sidekicks). In the month of November, he’s averaging 28 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 46.4 percent overall and a scorching hot 48.4 percent from long range.

In his latest marvelous performance, George had 34 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a 112-85 victory over the dreadful Philadelphia 76ers. And he did poor Nik Stauskas dirty:

Needless to say, things aren’t going too well in Philly right now.

But back to George. More impressive than his hot shooting is the work he’s doing as a playmaker and on the boards. He currently boasts an assist percentage of 24.7 percent, which is significantly better than his career high of 19.6 percent set in 2012-13. His rebound percentage is also the best of his career (outside of his shortened stint last year). With the Pacers playing small more often, George being a strong rebounder is of the utmost importance, and he’s delivering in that area.

George’s defense also remains top notch, so he’s producing in all facets of the game. He has the Pacers at 7-5, and while he likely won’t keep up the torrid pace he’s on, it appears the 25-year-old is officially back and better than ever.

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