Paul George shocked the NBA when he requested a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers this past offseason. He was coming off of an MVP-caliber season and played alongside a former MVP in Russell Westbrook. However, George decided that he wanted to join forces with Kawhi Leonard in their home city and suit up for the Clippers.
It felt like that pairing was going to be dominant, but so far, George hasn’t quite looked like himself. Part of that is because he’s not attacking the rim quite as much as he has in recent years. This could just be an early season thing that will eventually balance itself out, although George made an interesting comment on Sunday and indicated he’s still working to get past the mental hurdles that popped up due to offseason shoulder surgery.
Clippers’ Paul George on lingering mental effects of shoulder injury: “Last year, before the injury started, I was finishing through contact, finishing through defenders. This year I’ve been shying away from contact.” pic.twitter.com/WVc11BoB5A
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) December 29, 2019
On the plus side, George has become such a deadeye shooter over the years that he can still be really effective even as he’s trying to get back to 100 percent. He’s currently shooting nine three-pointers a game and connecting on 39 percent of them. As for his hesitancy to attack the rim, hopefully this is just George being prudent and it doesn’t mean that anything is going on physically. Maybe it’ll be a cause for concern if this is still something he’s doing as we approach the postseason, but for now, George is still working his way back, and when that’s the case, time is usually the most important thing.