Throughout the LA Clippers’ last five games, franchise superstar Paul George has been scoring on a different level. Whether from three, in the mid-range, or at the rim, George is getting whatever he wants on offense. Not to mention his defense has also been phenomenal since the season opener. As the Clippers are without George’s co-star, Kawhi Leonard, he has had to take a different approach to his game and has done just that.
Moreover, the LA Clippers’ recent victories allowed George to win Western Conference Player of the Week. This is a great sign for head coach Tyronn Lue as troubles began to surround the Clippers following their loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Over the course of George’s last five games, he has been averaging 31 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists, along with two steals on 54.8% shooting from the field. These stats look very similar to his Oklahoma City Thunder days, where he was a finalist for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.
While these numbers may stand out, one question Clipper fans may have is whether or not this level of play is sustainable. With no timetable for the return of Leonard, George will have to continue to do all he can to push his team to the top of the Western Conference. This means playing close to 40 minutes each night and taking a significant leadership role behind closed doors.
The LA Clippers should have no worries, as George will keep the team afloat while Leonard recovers.
Although Paul George is doing all he can for the LA Clippers, he has received help from a few other notable pieces. This has given George the space he needs to score as teams center their attention to each player on the court.
Moreover, in the time George is on the bench, rotational talents in John Wall, Ivica Zubac, and Marcus Morris have kept the Clippers in each contest. This gives Lue several options to look at during Leonard’s absences.
Additionally, with George’s age (32), his body may begin to break down as the season progresses. This was a familiar sight last season before George’s UCL tear mid-way through December. If Leonard had been available during this time, George would not have had a significant amount of pressure on his shoulders.
However, that is not the case this year. The front office added players like Wall in the off-season to help with these duties in the event that Leonard misses numerous games. Lue also has two veteran guards, Reggie Jackson and Norman Powell, who are still searching for their groove. Even so, Clipper fans should be reassured as an absurd amount of talent surrounds George, making room for his efficient three-level scoring abilities.