Sports Illustrated is continuing to reveal their annual list of the NBA's top-100 players, and on Wednesday's 30-11 reveal, Paul George was ranked 12th. This is one step up from the 13th spot that Sports Illustrated gave him last year, and significantly better than the 20th spot he received from ESPN last offseason.
After experiencing some of the most ruthless criticism from his playoff performance in the 2020 bubble, Paul George redeemed himself in a big way this past postseason. After Kawhi Leonard went down with injury, Paul George averaged 30/11/6, which included a game with 41 PTS, 13 REB, and 6 AST on 75% shooting when facing elimination on the road in the Western Conference Finals.
With a 20-point performance in each of the 19 playoff games Paul George played in this past run, he joined Larry Bird, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kawhi Leonard, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Shaquille O'Neal, Steph Curry, and Allen Iverson as the only 13 players in NBA history with at least 19 games of 20+ points in a single playoff run.
The exclusive company George joined during the 2021 playoffs did not stop at 20-point games. With 511 points, 183 rebounds, and 102 assists, Paul George joined Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Tim Duncan, and LeBron James as the only five players in NBA history with 500 points, 180 rebounds, and 100 assists in a single playoff run.
While George is still subject to an undeserved amount of criticism, his heroic performance in the 2021 playoffs has silenced several doubters while earning him a top-12 spot on Sports Illustrated's Top-100 list.