Pressure is something that Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard/small forward Paul George is no stranger off. George is among the most-watched superstars in the NBA for many reasons. Despite having several seasons of superstar-caliber success, performances, awards, and All-Star selections, George is also one of the most disrespected players in the league.
That has not changed after he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers during the off-season of 2019. He had one of his biggest struggles in the 2020 NBA postseason and many others in the infamous NBA bubble. Since then, George has played among one of the league’s most explosive and tenacious two-way players. Last season, George was slowed by a significant injury that caused him to miss 51 games last year to have UCL surgery. Despite missing 50+ games, George played incredible basketball and did not falter to help lead the Clippers into a potential playoff appearance without fellow superstar Kawhi Leonard.
This season may be one of the biggest for the Los Angeles Clippers with a fully healthy Paul George and Kawhi Leonard as they look to win their first NBA title in franchise history. There are many reasons why the Clippers, under the leadership of George, could be an NBA championship team. There are serious obstacles that can throw the Clippers off course, such as the injury history with George.
Top NBA Players 2022-23: #12 Paul George
George Continues to be an Elite Two-Way Player
George has played some of his best brand of basketball on the offensive and defensive side of the court in his three years with the Clippers. While he had tremendous success in his seven seasons with the Indiana Pacers and his two years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, George has had the availability to open up as a leader in the locker room as and as a key franchise playmaker in his hometown. George has continued to show he is still one of the most dynamic and electrifying offensive playmakers with incredible height and handle. Last year, George averaged 24.3 points per game, shooting a field-goal percentage of 42.1% and 35.4% from the three-point line. He was a tremendous scorer in playoffs, driving to the net, establishing his shots, and finally, showing his skill as a tenacious three-point shooter.
George is an all-around offensive player, as he can help set up key shots for his teammates. Last season, he averaged 5.7 assists per game, the most in his 12 years in the league. In three seasons with the Clippers, George has averaged 4.8 assists per game, 1.1 more assists per game in his two seasons with the Thunder.
George’s defense showed his potential last season as he was aggressive in one-on-one coverage. Last season, George allowed a 30.1% three-point shooting from his assigned offensive opponents. In coverage more than 15 feet from the basket, George has allowed a 36.7% shooting percentage. George had the second-best defensive efficiency last season for the Clippers at 106, along with power forward Justise Winslow and center Isaiah Hartenstein. He has been named a two-time NBA All-Defensive First-Team selection and a two-time NBA All-Defensive Second-Team selection.
Paul George has a Chance to Lead a Title-Winning Team
This 2022-2023 NBA season should be one of Paul’s biggest chances yet to return as an All-NBA caliber player. This season is George’s best chance yet to potentially help his team win an NBA title for the first time in his career. George and Leonard will lead a stacked and deep Clippers roster composed of 12 players that could play night in and night out. He will have great defenders to help him in tough coverages. George is a better defender near the wing than in the paint. It helps the Clippers with paint defenders in Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, Marcus Morris, and Ivica Zubac.
He will also have a serious boost on the offensive end of the court with shot selections. One of the main reasons is the addition of point guard John Wall. Wall will be a player that will significantly help PG set up in great scoring positions. Having Wall on the team and already establishing a good relationship with George will help him in the chemistry and scoring potential. PG will also have a point guard and longtime friend Reggie Jackson help set up shots for some great scoring positions like he has throughout his time as a Clipper.
Goerge has a chance to have his best season yet as a Clippers, which could be capitalized with a potential NBA title. The biggest negative factor that could affect the championship hopes is the health concerns of George. He has only played 133 regular season games in his three seasons with the Clippers. George will need to remain healthy if the Clippers want their best chance yet for an NBA title.