INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George has been focusing on training his endurance before the start of the regular season. One way that he has been training his endurance is by using an altitude training mask during practices. George wants to improve his endurance so he can be great on both sides of the ball during the whole game. It is expected that Paul George will play around 36 minutes a game, which means that he will need his endurance to be pristine. As the primary option on offense and the best defender on the team, George is going to have to be effective throughout the whole game to put his team in the best position to win games.
During the preseason, Paul George showed that he can be a lethal offensive player, but he needs to improve his endurance so he can become as efficient of a player that he wants to be. George's goal is to be a member of the '50-40-90 club', which means that he wants to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the perimeter, and 90 percent from the free-throw line. To maintain that level of efficiency, he will have to make sure that he isn't missing because of a lack of endurance. George's conditioning was a large reason for poor efficiency during the preseason. He often times started out very efficient, but that wore off as the game progressed. George's shooting percentages in the preseason were 43.2 percent from the field, 39.0 percent from the perimeter, 46.3 percent from inside the perimeter, and 75.0 percent from the free-throw line. Those numbers aren't bad, but it isn't where George wants to be.
George's offensive efficiency should improve as he gets more games under his belt this year. He may have played in the Pacers' final six regular season games last season, but he stated that he was at 65 percent effectiveness during those games. George isn't even at 100 percent effectiveness yet. Earlier this week, he told reporters that he believes that he is at 90 percent effectiveness, and he also said that he believes it shouldn't be much longer until he gets back to 100 percent effectiveness.
The final stage of getting back to the player that he once was is fine tuning his conditioning. George made significant improvement in his defensive and offensive skills, but endurance is important so he can continue to play at that great level throughout the entire game. His increased skill has been evident, but as previously mentioned, he started out strong but became increasingly less efficient during the preseason games. George should start to really see quality improvement in his stamina soon since he has added additional endurance training to his pre-existing training routine.
He has only had the preseason to play as the player that he once was in real game situation, meaning that he is still rusty, but that shouldn't last much longer.
Paul George Training Mask Interview 10/26/15
After finishing practice with a training mask for breathing, Paul George also wanted to work on his endurance while he answered questions from the media.Posted by Indiana Pacers on Monday, October 26, 2015
From a defensive stand point, Paul George appeared to be ready during the preseason. The competition wasn't as good during the preseason as what it will be during the regular season, but it was still great to see that he effectively defended whoever was on the floor. George proved that his individual defense and team defensive skills are ready for the regular season, and it will especially be the case when he fine tunes his endurance. George is going to need all of the endurance that he can get, especially because of the fact that the Pacers want to play at a high tempo. That will be difficult when factoring in; George wanting to be very efficient as the team's primary offensive option, the Pacers will be running an up-tempo style of play, he will be playing around 36 minutes per game, and he will be defending the team's best offensive perimeter player when he is at small forward.
Paul George stated that he has goals of winning the MVP award this season. He will not only have to score a high amount of points, but he will have to do it efficiently. George worked very hard to improve his individual offensive skills, which will be a deadly combination with his improved endurance. George showed during the preseason that his defense is already at an elite level again. If he can maintain this level of defensive effectiveness throughout the whole season and get close to the efficiency goals that he set for himself, there is no reason why George shouldn't at least be in contention for the MVP award. The pieces are in place for both Paul George and the Indiana Pacers to have a memorable season in 2015-16.