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#pounditFriday, May 20, 2022

Paul George offers theory on leaguewide shooting struggles

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

The three-ball is not falling at the rate that we are accustomed to in the NBA this season, and Paul George has a theory for why that may be the case.

After his LA Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, George said that it has been tough to adjust to the NBA’s new Wilson brand game ball, which replaced the traditional Spalding ball for this season.

“Not to make an excuse or anything, it’s just a different basketball,” he said, per Farbod Esnaashari of Sports Illustrated. “It doesn’t have the same touch or softness as the Spalding ball had. You’ll see this year, there’s going to be a lot of bad misses.”

George himself has not been too affected by the change, actually posting even better shooting numbers than last season. But when you look at some of the NBA’s top three-point scorers like Damian Lillard (shooting 23.1 percent from deep this season), Luka Doncic (23.8), Jayson Tatum (27.1), and Duncan Robinson (32.1), the difference is readily apparent.

Spalding had been the producer of official NBA game balls since 1983. That means that players are now having to adjust to a ball that they have never used before in their entire careers. Some have expressed confusion at their shooting struggles to start the season, but George has a theory that actually makes a lot of sense.

Photo: Feb 26, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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