Paul George admits he is avoiding contact after shoulder surgery
Paul George is still trying to work his way all the way back from the shoulder surgery that forced him to miss the start of his first season with the Los Angeles Clippers, and the star swingman is not denying that he is playing a bit differently now than he did before suffering the injury.
George, who is averaging 23.7 points in the 23 games in which he has played, said after Saturday’s loss to the Utah Jazz that he has been “shying away from contact” since returning.
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
If George has been hesitant to finish plays at the rim, it would stand to reason that he is also being less aggressive when rebounding. That could help explain why his rebounding numbers are down to 6.0 per game this year from 8.2 with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season.
The good news is the Clippers are 23-11 even with George admitting his game is not where he wants it to be. It’s also a positive sign that he is acknowledging the unwillingness to attack defenders, as that likely means he will work on it going forward.
The Clippers have gotten some clutch play from guys other than George and Kawhi Leonard this season, which is what they will need until George feels he is 100 percent back. Assuming he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, there’s no reason to think he won’t get there.
Clippers fans, show everyone who runs Los Angeles with this great “We Run LA” shirt: