Paul George says he Needed the NBA Hiatus to Finish Rehabbing his Shoulders
The 2019-2020 NBA season has been a grind for LA Clippers star Paul George.
After undergoing surgery on both shoulders last summer, George sat out the entirety of the LA Clippers' preseason slate, as well as the first 11 games of the regular season. He's played very well since his return in November, but it sounds as though we still haven't seen George at his best in a Clippers uniform.
On the latest episode of the Knuckleheads podcast, George explained to Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles why he needed the NBA's coronavirus-induced hiatus:
"This little pause right now has been perfect. I feel amazing right now. My shoulders literally like two or three weeks ago finally loosened all the way up to where I don't really gotta do shoulder rehab no more. I was still doing shoulder rehab all the way up until about three weeks ago and this was almost a full year since I had them done... It's just been a process, and my body just feels great right now. It's responding well, I've been lifting and working out every day, staying ready, but I needed this little break."
It's no surprise to find out that George had been keeping up on his rehab throughout the season, but knowing that he only recently got to the point where he could finish the process is a bit of a shock — especially since he's been so efficient this year.
In 29.1 minutes per contest, George is averaging 21.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists — almost identical numbers to the ones he posted during his first season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, when he was playing 36.6 minutes per game. It's also worth noting that his per-36 stats aren't far off from what he managed last season when he was a finalist for the MVP award.
Despite dealing with various injuries this year, George has also managed to connect on a blistering 39.9% of his three-point field goals on 7.9 attempts per game. Only three other players — Davis Bertans, Duncan Robinson and Karl-Anthony Towns — have done the same this season.
It'll be worth keeping an eye on George once the NBA returns later this summer. His performance will be vital for the Clippers in their pursuit of the franchise's first title, and it sounds as though he's the healthiest he's been in some time.
Check out the full episode of the Knuckleheads podcast here.