After a long and difficult offseason, the Los Angeles Clippers are set to showcase their first event for the 2023-2024 NBA Season. The Clippers are less than a week from their Clippers Media Day with their stars being the center of attention. One of the stars that will have a huge impact in the direction of a potential championship season is guard/forward Paul George. On Tuesday, September 26, George was on the cover of Slam Magazine where he was highlighted for his new PlayStation sneakers and his new mentality. In the new issue, George continued to talk his desire to play bully ball. If there is a season where the Clippers could use “Bully Ball Paul George,” it will be this season.
Is Paul George Ready for an MVP Season?
Paul George ready to play bully ball?
When mentioning George, many fans of other teams will talk about his shortcomings and playoff disappointments. Many young players coming into their rookie seasons idolize the playstyle of George. When healthy, he is one of the best two-way players in the league. His ability to create shots, tenacious shots and drive to the basket makes him one of the toughest offensive players to guard. Defensively, he can play solid one-on-one defense, close off driving lanes and cover the three-point arc. It is a big reason why he is an eight-time NBA All-Star and was named to an NBA defensive team four times.
Last season was the most that George has played in the regular season with the Clippers by playing 56 games. Goerge averaged 23.8 points per game shooting a field-goal percentage of 45.7%. He also averaged 6.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals. He missed his games last season and the postseason with injuries.
His best season was in his last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2018-2019 NBA Season. George averaged 28 points shooting a field-goal percentage of 43.8% and a three-point shooting of 38.6%. He also averaged a career-high 8.2 rebound, 4.1 assists and a career-high 2.2 steals per game.
At 33 years old, George doesn’t have many years left to play at a high level. He is looking to win his first-ever NBA championship in the region he was born and raised. Finally, George is looking to get another extensive contract extension at some point. One of the biggest drawbacks for the Clippers giving him this new contract is his injury history.
Paul George has to walk the walk and play serious
The four seasons of the Clippers’ 213 era have not gone the way they wanted to. This past season, however, was the most disappointing season, not only in the 213 era but also in the Clippers franchise as the expectations were severely short. It wasn’t that the expectations were short, the effort in the regular season was terrible.
There were multiple points in the regular season where the concept of load management was more important than the players developing good habits, developing team chemistry, and forcing the role players to become the main providers. While there were games was George was out with injuries, there were also games where he practiced load management.
George promised he would play more regular seasons and take the regular season more seriously before last season and it felt like the opposite. Clipper fans were severely disappointed by his statement of dedication of George who he also admitted early in the season that he isn’t the court general the team needed as well as being the #1 guy. If George wants to play bully ball, he has to play like he is the #1 guy.
It is expected that Kawhi Leonard will take certain games off, but George has to be the regular season leader. It doesn’t help the Clippers’ image that the new rule of load management has had multiple media outlets label the team as the face of the new rule.
George will have a solid cast of role players and point guard Russell Westbrook play his first full season for the Clippers. This season is a great opportunity for George to contend for MVP honors and an NBA Championship. It may, however, be his last chance to accomplish this.