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Paul George’s message to Pacers’ fans, “we work harder off of cheers than boos”

Indiana Pacers v Denver Nuggets

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12: Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers in action during the NBA match between Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets at the O2 Arena on January 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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The Indiana Pacers are 22-22 and on a three-game losing streak. The team’s defense has fallen from elite in past years to middle of the pack, and the pedestrian offense can’t overcome that. Jeff Teague’s transition has been anything but smooth. Maybe the biggest issue is consistency — there are nights the Teague/Paul George/Myles Turner combo look like an offensive juggernaut, and nights they have the cohesion of a YMCA pickup game (way too much isolation). The defense likewise varies game to game. If the team gets on a little run of success, they seem to relax and let up.

It’s frustrated fans who thought this team could have home court in the first round of the playoffs, not be fighting to stay in it.

Monday night during a home loss plenty of fans booed. Paul George tried to respond to that speaking to the Indianapolis Star‘s Jim Ayello:

“They pay their money, their hard-earned money to watch us play. They got the right to do whatever they want,” George said after practice Tuesday. “It doesn’t hurt me. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. Just know we work harder off of cheers than boos...

“Obviously, I get it,” he said. “The team’s not performing, and we’re not playing well. (But) it’s not like we’re out there not giving our all. We want to win just as much as the fans want us to win.

“It doesn’t help — booing us. We want to come out and play hard. We want to play hard for them. It’s not like we’re just out there to be there. I get it, though. They expect us to be at a high level. I get it. I don’t think booing is the solution.”

Maybe, but the Pacers need to give those fans reason to cheer about. Then do it consistently.