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#pounditSaturday, May 21, 2022

Articles tagged: Paul George

Paul George set to return Tuesday from elbow injury

Paul George in a Clippers jersey

The LA Clippers are finally getting Paul George back after a lengthy absence.

George is set to play on Tuesday for the Clippers against the Utah Jazz so long as all goes well in pregame warmups.

George has been out since late December with an elbow injury. He has a torn UCL but opted for rest rather than surgery on his elbow.

The 31-year-old forward is in his third season with the Clippers but has played in just 26 games this season. He is averaging 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

The Clippers badly need George back. They have lost five in a row and are now 36-39, which has them 8th in the West. They’re 8.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for the 6th spot. If they can’t get to the 6th spot, they would end up in the play-in, which is for spots 7-10.

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

Paul George sparks buzz with latest practice video

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

As the shorthanded LA Clippers continue to fight and scrap this season, one of their injured stars could be flying in to save the day like Han Solo on the Millennium Falcon.

Clippers forward Paul George sparked buzz on Saturday with a video of him getting shots up at practice. George has been battling a torn UCL in his right shooting elbow and has not played in roughly two-and-a-half months now. He looked pretty fluid though as he let it fly from midrange on Saturday.

Law Murray of The Athletic adds that George is only able to shoot within 17 feet right now but that his shooting display during practice left a positive impression on the coaching staff working with him. George’s Clippers teammates also sounded pretty encouraged.

The Clippers have defied the longest of odds with George, Kawhi Leonard, and Norman Powell all sidelined this season. On paper, those are their three best players. But the Clippers have won their last five consecutive games and seven of their last eight to climb their way to an improbable 34-31 record. Their 132-111 beatdown of the rival Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday was perhaps the Clippers’ signature win of the season.

George, who was averaging 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists a game before he went down in December, can singlehandedly elevate the ceiling of the entire team. If the positive indications we recently heard about Leonard are any hint as well, opponents may be wise to prepare for impending doom.

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

Clippers teammate gives update on Kawhi Leonard, Paul George potential returns

Kawhi Leonard in his Clippers uniform

One LA Clippers player is revealing when the cavalry might be coming.

Speaking this week in an interview with French outlet First Team, Clippers forward Nicolas Batum offered an update on the potential return dates of stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

“We hope that after the All-Star break or early March they will come back,” said Batum, according to a translation from SI’s Farbod Esnaashari. “Before leaving for the trip Tuesday morning, I went to do my COVID test and went to the gym. I saw Kawhi sweating, working out. He’s trying to come back. I don’t know if it will be this year, I am hoping so but I don’t know. If we get them in the next six weeks … We have a base of players around them who have a good level.”

Leonard continues to recover from a partially torn ACL suffered during the playoffs last June. There was recently another positive update on his status as well. With George, the shorter-term situation is a bit more uncertain. He has not played since December with a torn UCL in his shooting elbow. The Clippers are hoping that it heals with time off, but there is always the possibility of eventual surgery.

Of course, much will depend on where the Clippers are at in the standings. They have understandably struggled without both their stars and are 23-25 on the year. But the team is fortunate to be in a weak Western Conference this season, which is a rarity. The Clippers are currently ninth in the conference and should make the play-in tournament regardless.

Ultimately, the Clippers’ roster moves before the Feb. 10 trade deadline will reveal how optimistic they are about Leonard and/or George returning. A recent report shed light on their approach heading into the deadline.

Photo: Feb 26, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New report about Clippers may mean bad news for Paul George

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

The LA Clippers have officially climbed back to .500 after an amazing come-from-behind win on Tuesday over the Denver Nuggets. But the latest report about the team may mean bad news for one of their star players.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported on Wednesday that the Clippers are operating under the assumption that All-Star forward Paul George may not return this season. George has missed the last two-and-a-half weeks and counting with a torn UCL in his right elbow. The team had announced on Christmas Day that they would re-evaluate George in three-to-four weeks.

Fischer adds that the George situation could push the Clippers to become sellers ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline. The report also quotes a rival NBA executive who believes that the Clippers could shed veterans such as Marcus Morris in order to regroup for next year with younger talent and cheaper contracts.

The Clippers are currently 21-21, which puts them eighth in the West and in play-in tournament range. They have gone 4-6 since the George injury news, but that does include some quality victories over teams like Brooklyn and Denver. The Clippers are also trying to navigate Kawhi Leonard’s continued injury absence. Meanwhile, they have been getting valuable minutes from younger players like Amir Coffey, Terance Mann, and Brandon Boston Jr.

The team did recently get reason to feel optimistic about Leonard. But the health of their other star player George could now be throwing a wrench into their plans. That might make it more advantageous for the Clippers to punt away this season and take a swing at full health starting next season instead.

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

Paul George out with torn ligament in elbow

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

The Los Angeles Clippers are shelving Paul George due to his elbow injury.

George has been bothered by his elbow this month and missed five games from Dec. 8-Dec. 18. However, he returned against the Spurs on Monday and has been playing through it. But things are changing now.

The Clippers announced Saturday that George will miss the next 3-4 weeks because of a torn UCL in his right elbow.

George shot poorly on Wednesday, going 6/18 for 17 points in the Clippers’ win over the Kings. Now he will be shutdown to hopefully help his elbow heal.

The Clippers entered Saturday 17-15, which placed them seventh in the West.

Already without Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers will be in a rough spot without George too.

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

Grizzlies player took shot at Paul George after beating Clippers

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

One Memphis Grizzlies player may be trying to join Damian Lillard and Joe Ingles on Paul George’s list of enemies.

The Grizzlies played George’s LA Clippers on Thursday night, winning 120-108. After the game, Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks, who was a primary defender on George, took a shot at the seven-time All-Star.

“Paul George needs illegal screens to get open against me cuz I’m on him all night,” said Brooks, per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints.

Despite the loss, George still finished with a team-high 23 points to go along with five rebounds and six assists. George also had five three-pointers on an efficient 9-for-18 shooting night overall. Thus, it does not seem like Brooks really bothered him much at all.

George often has screens set for him by seven-footers Ivica Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein, so that was probably who Brooks was really upset with. Brooks is also a bit of an instigator who has beefed with other opponents too.

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

Paul George has savage joke about Staples Center’s name change

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

Count Paul George among those who is not a Crypto.com bro.

The LA Clippers star reacted on Tuesday to the impending name change of Staples Center, the team’s current home. The venue will be soon renamed as the Crypto.com Arena as part of a massive rights deal.

“It will be weird,” said George, per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints. “I grew up this being Staples and Staples being the place to play and the place to be. It will definitely be weird. It’s the same location, but it’s kind of like stripping the history here by calling it something else.”

Geroge than cracked a savage joke about the name change.

“Good thing we won’t be here too long,” the seven-time All-Star quipped. “We’ll be at our own place, so it is what it is, I guess.”

Indeed, the Clippers will be moving out in 2024 to play at their own arena, the Intuit Dome in Inglewood, Calif. The team recently broke ground on the state-of-the-art arena, and it is already looking pretty fresh and innovative.

Staples Center has housed the Clippers, the Lakers, and the NHL’s Kings since its opening in 1999. It has also been home to the WNBA’s Sparks since 2001. Like George said, the name change will feel strange. But fortunately for the Clippers, they will only have to deal with it for a few years.

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

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

Paul George’s ‘logo’ challenge to Steph Curry completely backfired

Paul George talks to Steph Curry

Paul George issued a challenge to Steph Curry towards the end of Thursday night’s game, and it backfired.

George’s Los Angeles Clippers were leading Curry’s Golden State Warriors late in the fourth quarter of the game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. TV cameras caught George issuing a challenge to Curry to “make it interesting” by each taking a shot from the logo.

Curry took his shot and made it to give the Warriors the lead 108-107.

George missed a 23-foot shot but made a 27-foot three-pointer a minute later. His second shot only brought his Clippers within one. They lost the game 115-113.

Maybe challenging the best shooter ever to a shooting contest late in the game is not the best idea. But George doesn’t always say and do the smartest things, does he?

Paul George has vulgar message for his haters

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

Paul George enters the new NBA season with something to prove … to absolutely nobody.

The LA Clippers star spoke with reporters this week and delivered a vulgar message to all of his haters.

“It’s just an approach where I don’t give a F,” said George, per Andrew Greif of the LA Times. “I don’t give a s—. That’s just how I attack the court now. Like I said, I don’t need validation. I’m my worst critic, and that’s the only thing that matters — the only thing that matters to me.

“I’ve done a good job of that in my career up to that point of not allowing outside noise to affect me. so that’s really where the page turned,” George went on. “The corner turned for me was, I don’t care what anyone else has to say. Like, 90 percent of the people who are critiquing me can’t do what I do. It’s just funny that someone can call someone else out of what they do, what their profession is, and people buy into that.”

The seven-time All-Star George has been the target of much public criticism in recent years, especially overused jokes about his supposed shortcomings in the playoffs. But the man that they clown as “Playoff P” or “Pandemic P” shut up the trolls last postseason with his gutsy performance during star teammate Kawhi Leonard’s injury absence. George put the Clippers on his back, logging huge minutes and taking on a massive scoring load to lead the team to their first conference finals berth in franchise history.

The Clippers may be counting on George for a repeat performance now that Leonard is expected out for most if not all of the new season as well. But when it comes to his haters, which include some famous ones too, George thinks that they can all buzz off.

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