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Is Pacers rookie Paul George about to take Brandon Rush’s job?

Jan 24, 2011, 12:05 PM EDT

Paul George

When one gets hit over the head enough times, one learns a lesson.

That lesson for the Pacers is that Brandon Rush is inconsistent, and gets lost on defense at times. For evidence of the later, watch the fantastic Sebastian Pruiti at NBA Playbook break down how Rush cheats off Carmelo Anthony last night again and again, even while ‘Melo has the hottest hand in the building.

It’s often hard to figure out the thinking behind the rotations under Jim O’Brien in Indiana, but one thing he is thinking about that makes some sense is giving rookie Paul George a lot of Rush’s minutes, he told the Indianapolis Star.

“The decision that I have to make is when do I move Paul definitely in front of Brandon,” O’Brien said. “That’s coming if we keep getting sporadic play.”

That comment comes off as classic coach “motivate a player through the media” speak, just O’Brien trying to light a fire under Rush. But it’s still a good idea.

In fewer minutes, George has been a more efficient offensive player than Rush, shooting higher percentage (46.4 to 42.8 percent) and he is scoring more points per possession (1.05 for George to 0.96 for Rush), according to Synergy. George gets more of his opportunities off spot up and in transition (and the athletic George thrives when he runs with Darren Collison, shooting 71.8 percent in transition). Rush gets more of his shots in half court sets coming off screens or as a pick-and-roll ball handler, but there is that consistency issue.

Can George defend consistently against a higher level of players, either as a starter or first wing player off the bench? Really, there’s only one way to find out. He may be inconsistent, but you’ve already got inconsistent with Rush. Might as well let a kid who can grow get the minutes now.

  1. metalhead65 - Jan 24, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    you are giving obrien to much credit. he is not that smart or he would have made this move a month ago. everytime the kid gets into a game he lights it up only to be taken out of the game to soon or not play for a week after. how long is it going to take pacer management to figure out this coach and his “system” do not work for this team? he does the same thing with hansbrough and all the young pacers.the min. they show flashes of what got them to the nba in the first place he stops playing them.pacer fans are sick of him dragging the franchise down instead of making them better. it is one thing to lose while playing young talent and developing them but he refuses to do that. the sooner he goes the better the team will be. you couds hire the clippers waterboy and he could do a better job than this loser.

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