Paul George: His Most Underrated Season
Paul George is one of the best two-way stars playing in the NBA right now. While he has found some trouble in the postseason throughout his career, most teams would be foolish to deny his services given the chance. As we have seen, he can be extremely effective when paired with another superstar. Ever since his days as a member of the Indiana Pacers, many knew he was going to be a key star in this league for years to come. He was an MVP candidate last season while playing alongside Russell Westbrook, and has shown his abilities this season playing alongside Kawhi Leonard despite a relatively injury-riddled campaign. With all of this in mind, it is worth wondering what the most underrated season of his career is. Without further adieu, let’s continue this ongoing series.
Paul George’s Most Overlooked Season
Paul George’s 2018-19 Campaign
As alluded to already, George had an MVP-like season last year. While Giannis Antetokounmpo won the award and James Harden was a close second, Paul George finished third in the MVP voting. Almost any other season and he would have won the award. He would help lead the Thunder to another playoff season with a win-loss record of 49-33. With the help of George’s defensive capabilities, the team would finish fourth (107.0) in defensive rating for the season. When you consider that George was playing with another ball-dominant superstar in Russell Westbrook, then it puts the season PG-13 had into more perspective. For context, George had a usage rate of 29.5 percent. Westbrook possessed a usage rate of 30.9 percent. The team would lose in the first round and George would be a part of the infamous buzzer-beat Damian Lillard hit over him, but that still does not detract from the season George had.
PG-13’s 2018-19 Numbers
Another fact that tends to go unrecognized is that George also won the steals title last season. He averaged 2.2 steals and also came away with a defensive rating of 105. Not to mention, he would fare well against other wing players when matched up with them. For example, against his teammate, Kawhi Leonard, he only gave up 21 points in two different games. That means he only gave up 10.5 points per game when matched up with the Klaw last year. This is just another example of how solid of a defender Paul George is and has always been.
George also went on an offensive tear in the 2018-19 season. Not only did he average 28 points per game, but he also tallied 4.1 assists per game to go along with 8.2 rebounds per game. On top of this, George’s advanced metrics were also impressive. He came away with a true shooting percentage of 58.3 percent and an assist percentage of 17.7 percent. His player efficiency rating (PER) was also respectable as he tallied a PER of 23.3 to couple with a win share of 11.9. Paul George may have ended his Oklahoma City Thunder tenure with a sour taste partly due to Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers, but his last season in the blue and orange was still extremely respectable.
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