Paul George of the Indiana Pacers was the recipient of some well-deserved criticism after game four of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pacers were defeated convincingly by the Miami Heat in that game, a contest in which they never once held the lead. Even with that being the case, George took it upon himself to say that Indiana outplayed the Heat in that game and to point to the officiating as a reason why his team lost.
In the time between the two games, it was hard to find any credibility with George’s statements. More than anything they sounded like the desperate sentiments of the star player on a team nearing the end of its playoff run. At the very least that was how those comments played during their turn in the 24 hour news cycle.
The tenure of the whole conversation might turn, however, if the Pacers have enough close calls go their way to make a difference in game five. Phil Jackson he isn’t, but George will surely be happy to pay a fine if his version of working the officials appears to pay off and keep the Pacers alive.
The play that follows might have been an in-between call, but in this case it went the way of the Pacers and against LeBron James.
Generally speaking, a discrepancy in foul shots can be explained by style of play. The team that shoots more free throws was the team that committed to taking the ball to the rim. That will ultimately be the case in this game as well, but I bet George still thinks he had some sway in things.