The national narrative surrounding the LA Clippers so far this year has focused, justifiably or not, on last year’s playoff failures. Recognition for their success so far this season has been secondary to the qualifier of the ‘up 3-1’ collapse at the hands of the Denver Nuggets in the second round. Criticism has been aimed in particular at Paul George, who had an extremely inefficient playoff run that culminated in an ugly three-point attempt that hit the side of the backboard.
Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade, who was a guest analyst for TNT the night of the Clippers-Nets game, recognized this media tendency and decided to give George some credit.
It’s hard to forget for anyone who witnessed it live, but George broke his leg during a team USA scrimmage back in 2014. Regardless of his shortcomings in last year’s playoffs, it is quite a feat that he’s played his best basketball (he finished third in MVP voting in 2019) after returning from that gruesome injury. He’s also currently having the most efficient season of his career, shooting a ridiculous 45% from three and just a hair shy of the coveted 50/40/90 club.
Perhaps this quote will turn out to be a turning point in the media’s opinion of the Clippers. It’s still early in the season, and George does need to redeem himself to some extent in the playoffs, but there’s no reason why he can’t also be appreciated for the quality season and excellent individual play he’s currently displaying.