The dunk was waved off for coming after the buzzer, but that didn’t stop tensions from rising. Players met at halfcourt and discussed matters, with some Portland players, like Evan Turner, apparently irritated.
George was asked about the dunk after the game and didn’t answer, saying “next question.” Damian Lillard said he “couldn’t care less” about the dunk, suggesting that the Thunder felt they needed it to pump themselves up.
Lillard weighs in on George's dunk after the horn: "I couldn't care less… if that something they need to do to make themselves feel more dominant, feel better, than so be it." #ripcitypic.twitter.com/5yNdHJpARg
Lillard was wise not to say anything and give the Thunder or media bulletin-board material, but you better believe he and the Blazers will come out with some fire in Game 4 after that and the other taunts they took.
George scored 26 points in Game 1, but did so on 8-of-24 shooting and went 4-of-15 from three-point range. His injury sounded pretty severe recently, but he denied that it was the issue behind his lackluster performance. That will be met with skepticism, but if George looks sharper in Game 2, the questions should evaporate fairly quickly.
Paul George played in Game 1 Sunday of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers, though he didn’t look quite right.
George shot just 8/24 including 4/15 on threes as the Thunder lost Game 1 104-99 to Portland. He entered the game questionable due to his shoulder, which also kept him out of the Thunder’s regular season finale.
Just how bad has George’s shoulder injury been? According to Royce Young, George said he couldn’t lift his shoulder as of a few days ago.
George says he wasn't feeling any issues physically, but more it was a rhythm issue.
Even if George denies being physically limited in the game, he seemed off, and the shoulder injury likely is the reason. This is the same issue that kept him out three games in late February/early March as well.
Paul George was unable to play in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s final game of the regular season because of a shoulder injury, and it sounds like the ailment is one that could stick with him through at least a portion of the playoffs.
Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Friday that George is “day to day” ahead of Sunday’s opening-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers. George later told reporters he expects to play, but he admitted he may be less than 100 percent healthy.
Paul George said the pain in his right shoulder was too much to try and play through against Milwaukee, but says “as much as I can get it 100 as possible or close to it, you can expect me out there Sunday.” pic.twitter.com/5wHNiC7CyR
George had an outstanding season in his second year with the Thunder, as he set or tied career-highs in almost every major category with 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game. It goes without saying that Oklahoma City would be in big trouble without him, but it would be a shock if George didn’t play through the shoulder issue. Whether or not it will limit him is the bigger concern for the Thunder.
Russell Westbrook is no longer the only Oklahoma City Thunder star that Patrick Beverley has beef with.
The LA Clippers defeated the Thunder on Friday night by the final of 118-110. After the game, OKC forward Paul George, who fouled out of the contest after scoring just 15 points, had some pointed criticisms of the officiating. George was later fined for his comments.
On Saturday, Beverley, the Clippers guard, called out George on Twitter for his criticisms. He linked to a highlight reel of his defense on George during the game and clowned him for “tr[ying] to blame the refs.” Beverley also tagged George in a later tweet and said that he won the battle “plain and simple.”
George also picked up a technical foul against the Clippers and was one of three Thunder players to foul out along with Westbrook and Steven Adams.
As for the 6-foot-1 Beverley, he has recently been asked to defend larger forwards with the Clippers’ lack of depth at the 3 spot thanks to injuries to Wilson Chandler and Luc Mbah a Moute plus the trade of Tobias Harris. Beverley did a similarly effective job on LeBron James in a win over the Lakers earlier in the week and had a lot to say after that game as well.
Unsurprisingly, Paul George’s comments about how the Oklahoma City Thunder are officiated did not go unnoticed by the league office.
George has been fined $25,000 for his extended commentary on the officiating after Friday’s 118-110 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. George was hit with a technical foul during the first quarter of the game and ultimately fouled out with about four minutes to go.
The playoff races are well underway in the NBA, and things are very competitive in both conferences. It looks likely that only a handful of games will separate fifth from eighth in certain cases, and the margins between making and missing the playoffs will be small.
Most contenders have key figures who will have a big say in where their teams land. These aren’t always the obvious stars, but a key name who’s returning from injury or picking up the slack at the right time. Here are 10 key players who will have a big say in the playoff races.
10. Buddy Hield, G, Kings
Hield has had a breakout year this season, but he hasn’t always been in the good graces of coach Dave Joerger, much to the frustration of some other players. The Kings are very much in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, and they’ll need Hield to play fearlessly — and have the trust of his coach — down the stretch. If he can play to his capabilities — like when he made 53.4 percent of his threes in January — the Kings will have a huge weapon as they chase a playoff spot.