Thunder’s Billy Donovan speaks out on Paul George’s injury during 2019 playoffs
But that certainly was not the case last season when George was still with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as he played through pain in their first round best-of-seven series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Ahead of George’s first match-up against his former team on Tuesday, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan talked about George’s health issues last year, via Tomer Azarly.
“It was a problem. It was both of em. I knew it was a problem, but he fought through it. He never said a word about it, never complained. That speaks to his character & toughness.”
The six-time All-Star finished third in MVP voting last season, with remarkable averages of 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.2 steals.
He was clearly hobbled in the playoffs, as the Thunder got booted out by the Blazers in just five games. George was phenomenal in his last game for OKC, scoring 36 points.
Per his request, he was traded to the Clippers in the offseason and elected to seek treatment. He missed the LA’s first 11 games of the 2019-20 NBA regular season.
George doesn’t seem to have missed a beat upon his return, scoring a combined 70 points in the Clippers’ last two games.
He scored 37 points in just 20 minutes in the team’s 49-point rout of the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. George is averaging 35.0 points per game on 58.8 shooting from the field and 56.3 from downtown. He is also tallying 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.0 steals per contest.