NBA: Pacers’ George calls out teammates after Game 2 loss to Cavs
The Indiana Pacers dropped their first two games against the defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers in their first-round match-up in the 2017 NBA playoffs.
The team’s shortcoming, however, was not for the lack of trying by its superstar Paul George.
The 26-year-old forward tallied a combined 61 points in their first two outings, albeit losing two close-contested matches.
Following Indy’s 117-111 loss on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), George expressed his disappointment at returning guard Lance Stephenson.
“He’s got to learn to control himself and be in the moment,” George told ESPN. “Lance, in our locker room, is looked upon as a leader. His body language has to improve—just for the team. We all know that Lance is an emotional guy. A lot of it is his heart and his competitiveness. That emotion comes out of him. He’s got to channel that toward making effort plays on the court and doing whatever he needs for us to succeed.”
George’s comments came after the spitfire guard was forced to defend the Cavs’ forward Kevin Love during multiple stretches in the third quarter. The undersized Stephenson picked up three immediate fouls and even slammed the ball out of frustration at one point—which George believed altered the flow of the game for his team.
The team’s second-year center Myles Turner also did not escape the ire of the superstar.
“We just need him to challenge Tristan [Thompson], keep him off the boards,” he said of the lanky 21-year-old. “He needs to make himself available down low in the post. He needs to know at this point he has to take it to the next level. We’ll continue to work with him.”
Earlier, George called out CJ Miles for taking the last shot and not giving him the ball in Game 1.
The series shifts to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana on Thursday. Khristian Ibarrola /ra