LA Clippers: Predicting stats for Paul George next season

Paul George, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Paul George, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Paul George is going to make the LA Clippers must-see TV next year.

He’s going to have an incredible year in this league. Without Kawhi Leonard, PG is going to have a prime opportunity to prove himself and carry this team.

PG13 hasn’t been named First-Team All-NBA since 2019, and he’ll be on a mission to prove that he is a true superstar in this league.

Expect to see a jump in Paul George’s statistics for next season with the LA Clippers.

Paul George is going to lead the LA Clippers in scoring this year. We know this.

In fact, I have PG putting up 27 points per game next year. Kawhi Leonard, who averaged 24.8 per game last year, and 30.4 per game in the postseason, will be out for a significant portion of the season.

So where are those high point totals going to go? They’re going to go right into PG’s scoring numbers. PG can rain threes, he has a great midrange game, and he’s an outstanding finisher.

He’s going to be tasked with carrying the scoring load for this team, and he’s going to have so many opportunities. He already took 17.6 shots last year. With Kawhi, who took 17.5, out for a large portion of this season, he’s going to get so many looks in the first half or so.

He’s going to be putting up so many points early this season, and when Kawhi comes back, he’s still going to be scoring a lot because he’ll have progressed so much.

Last year, he averaged 23.3 points per contest, and 26.9 in the playoffs. 27 per game isn’t unrealistic at all, and I could even maybe see him going over 28 for a career-high.

Also, I don’t think people understand how good of a rebounder George is. Averaging 6.6 in the regular season was already pretty good (at least for his position), but he collected 9.6 rebounds per contest in the postseason. He even grabbed 10.5 per game in the Western Conference Finals.

Why should that production dip very much next season, against easier competition? No Kawhi means more rebounds for other players to collect. This all sets up for PG being able to put up a career-high in rebounds per game.

I’m calling 8.5 rebounds per game from PG. He averaged 8.2 in the 2018-2019 season where he was a First-Team All-NBA player, and he is going to have another season like that. I think he’ll be even better, because he proved in last year’s postseason how much stronger he’s become as a rebounder.

On the defensive end, I don’t expect a huge statistical jump, but I do expect his numbers to look a bit better.

I don’t expect him to start swiping two steals per game like he did in Oklahoma City, but I do see him averaging at least a steal and a half per game. He had 1.1 this past year, and while I expect PG to develop in Year 3 under Ty Lue, he’ll be picking up the hardest defensive assignment every time he’s on the floor now that Leonard is out.

So I think he’ll improve in the steals department, but I don’t think he’ll be putting up the defensive numbers he did with the Thunder.

With him going to be forced to take much tougher shots this season due to all the attention that will be on him with Leonard out, I do expect his shooting percentages to regress to the mean a little.

Last year, he shot a career-high 46.7% from the field, and was 0.1% shy of his career-high mark from deep with a 41.1% three-point shooting percentage.

With no Leonard in the picture, teams are going to be throwing so many double-teams his way. Therefore, I think he’ll shoot 44% from the field (just 0.4% more than his career percentage). I think he’ll regress a bit to 40% from deep (1.6% more than his career percentage).

He’ll progress as a shooter, but his numbers there will be down due to the tough looks opposing defenses will be giving him. That being said, all these bodies flying at PG are going to send him to the line often. His free throw shooting will improve due to his constant chances to get comfortable at the line.

I think he’ll be shooting at least 88% on free throws, which he’s only done once (2016-2017).

Next. Predicting Morris' role next year. dark

George is going to be tremendous for this team next year, and will have some eye-opening stats to go along with great eye test results for his performance.