Paul George is in the essential stage of his career. Now back home in Los Angeles, and he’s able to see his family and friends regularly. But there is more. It seems George is focusing on his new journey as a Clipper, basketball, and his growth as a leader on the court. George says, “This journey has been good, this journey has been a blessing, not a lot of people get to say they have played back home. Honestly, I was hoping this is the closing of my journey to be able to finish my career here in LA. Right now is a great chapter, the last part of my book, and I look forward to doing big things here.” Ever since he’s returned to the game, George has been an immediate impact on the Clippers. In his first few games, George has either scored 30+ points or knocked down a huge bucket. In a recent press conference touched on the importance of fighting through games and how it will grow them as a team throughout the season. He states,
“These tough games are going to build the character in this group. We find ways to battle it out when the offense isn’t going. We find ways to come up with big plays at the end. It’s gone carry over. We don’t want the games where we get to scoring 150. As great as it is, we’ll have times throughout the year where we will see offensive explosions. For the most part, we’re going to get every team’s best shot, and we have to prepare for big games.”
The Clippers made history when they defeated the Atlanta Hawks 150-101, they had an “offensive explosion” as George would say. Their defense has been most impressive, and the Clippers have given us a preview of what’s to come. Their most recent come from behind victories is when they played the Boston Celtics and won in overtime 107-104 and a tight win against the Houston Rockets 122-119. These were tough wins, but the Clippers are embracing the airtight battles that they are experiencing early on. George says,” It’s great to win games on the defensive side because offensively, it’s not going to be there every night. We’re not going to have a 150 night regularly. It’s great to win those games where you have to grind it out. Honestly, I think that’s great for us to build towards late in the year.” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers would instead dominate teams. “I would rather have 50 point wins,” says Rivers. “You’re going to have enough stress throughout the season. It would be nice to have a cushion every once in a while.”
George and the Clippers are being patient; they know this has the potential to be a dominant team. Right now, their focus to growing on the court and build with one another. By the time playoffs are here, the challenges they faced throughout the season, have mentally prepared them when it’s time to make the championship push.
George has an understanding that they are still getting into a rhythm as a group. Individually he has been rehabbing; playing with contact is all new to him. He hasn’t even had time to practice. “I’m still getting used to this fast pace, this style. I haven’t had practice time so a lot of this pressure, and on-ball stuff I’m still working on. I’m only going to get better; I’m going to figure out my timing.” Some nights, he and the team will have off nights, and they are still getting to know one another. George knows what he brings to the team recently stated that he is impressed with this Clippers team. “What I find most impressive about my teammates is that I have guys that have been doing this. I have guys that are great, skilled, and special. Lou Will one of the best scorers, Trez, who has proven he is one of the best scorers at his position. It’s just so many guys. Defensively, we have guys who do what I do at a high level. It’s a grey area I’m where I’m trying to find myself.” Playing for the Clippers at this moment in time is a dream come true for George, and he’s already making history. In his home debut, George scored 37 points, the most points scored by a player in less than 21 minutes, according to a basketball reference.