Team USA easily won their exhibition contest against Argentina tonight with a final score of 111-74. Kevin Durant led the team in scoring with 23 points, while the Pacers Paul George added 18 points on 7 for 11 shooting with 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals.
Coach K has been very impressed with George’s performance through the process.
“I think he’s playing the best basketball of his life right now,” Coach K said after the exhibition.
George, who scored a quick 10 points in the first quarter, looks likely to play a big role for the Americans in the Olympics as either a sixth man as he was tonight or as the team’s starting shooting guard if he supplants Klay Thompson at the spot.
His most valuable tool for the USA squad looks to be his versatility. In the exhibition tonight, the team’s two point guards both had two fouls early and George took over as the emergency point guard.
“He’s a very good guy to coach,” said Krzyzewski, “because we can play him anywhere.”
I’m guessing he hasn’t asked George to play power forward since we know how PG felt about that last year, but the point remains that George looks ready to do whatever is needed to help win the gold medal.
George has said that he’s doing this for the Paul George that always wanted to win a gold medal as a kid.
Tonight was his first Team USA game action since his horrific leg injury two years ago, and while George said he had a lot of emotions about it coming into the game that his teammates helped make sure he was ready to go beforehand.
“They did a great job making sure I was good when I came out on this floor,” said George. “It was great to get back out there.”
George now nearly two full years removed from the injury may just now be getting to his full strength and explosiveness which will be great for Team USA in Rio and even better for the Pacers once the next season comes.
Full highlights of George’s performance:
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) July 23, 2016