Monday afternoon, under a blue sky sprawl pastel, Paul George stood on the fishing pier at South Lakes Park in southwest Oklahoma City.
He was there to cut the ribbon at the dock kid-friendly, which is designed to look like a basketball floor with his left logo on what he and the Wildlife Conservation Oklahoma gathered to build.
the pier is something you have when playing with the Thunder before the idea of working with Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles. This is one reason that when starting the queue was announced Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, George, now a member of the LA Clippers, received strong applause.
“I had a short stay here, but the way they embraced me, took me from the first day I set foot second here, it’s a big impact,” said George. “That’s why I still want to do community work here. I still want to be put in place like here Sooner like Oklahoman.”
But they also applauded because George has played some electric fans Basketball Oklahoma City Thunder had ever seen.
It was almost a year ago that George himself is a candidate to raise both the MVP and defensive player of years. It was a marksman volume, regularly hitting seven and eight 3s games on 38.6% shooting distance.
He played through questions to both shoulders, requiring surgery in the offseason. He missed the first 11 games of the season, debuted in New Orleans with 33 points in 24 minutes without effort. Month and a half is to find chemistry with his new team and get into the kind of form of the game in both directions requires 94 feet.
Hamstring injury in early January was absent again. Then came a few weeks ago
“I am a work in progress,” George said after dominating the Clippers 109-94 victory over the Thunder. “This is a year’s hard to get hurt. Be in rotation, being out of rotation. And then just play in the new system, new players, new teammates, new coaches, new style of play. Been a bit of an adjustment for me”.
Back to the top of Thunder where by his own statement, he was playing the best basketball of his career, George at the beginning of the throat. When George found the rhythm, the handle is smooth; aggressive to 3; Step back a little tighter; Her record breeds more energetic and often. It blooms when the rhythm, and it is something he is looking to start every game. He always said that the best way to open it is to focus on the first end.
“It will always be how I go,” has said George. “Get a stop, play defense, going on, my feet moving. I took the mission to go to the head of the snake, [Chris Paul]. It’s great for this challenge.”
George holds in the range, in any system, in any situation. the game is adaptable, as it looks for ways he can have an impact. Clippers season has been full of jerky rotation, with their longer operational range of the dead star for last week, but they flexed their power after the end of the plain against the Thunder.
“Everything we were just getting ready and prepared for the playoffs,” Doc Rivers said the coach. “And [George], he just lost a lot. You can see him take some. I think he still has a cooler to do, that was so at the end of the season will tell, but with his injuries and the type of injury he has, he could not walk. Then [in] four or five games, you can see. you can see us coming, he usually when he plays well, it’s pretty good. “
Besides the 2014-15 season when he returned from injury to play only six games, George is the average of the lowest number of points per game in six seasons. Adapting to play with Leonard, Lou Williams and depth of the Clippers’ is understood to come, but he has not had much chance to hit the gas well.
“It has been doubled, he was on the minute restriction, he returns healthy,” said Leonard. “It depends on what team we play. You will see Paul George you always see, or see someone make a game, do the job. I’m happy with her game. “
Do not reduce turnover, or just minutes dilate, George is a key cog to unlock the potential of LA and push for the title. Leonard can carry the team. depth Clippers’ can win the game. But George checked his elite level in both directions on a box of almost all the league teams can handle.
“I do not know,” Leonard said when asked how the team is to reach its potential. “Because I do not know what our potential. You never know how a team can be. But we will try to be the best team possible. We are not satisfied. We want to keep improving and hopefully achieve “.
George played 27 minutes against the Thunder, but the real exercise is yet to come. He hit another postgame workout, fell into the chair in front of his sweaty locker and leave a strong expletive when he removed his teeth. So in the meantime, George will work to become the MVP caliber player he was last year, and the Clippers know what they are truly capable.
“I think every situation I was just trying to get lost in the team,” said George. “Give you. Let training, enabling it to become a teammate, brother. I just lost myself in the team. In general, good results come from there. “