Thunder’s Paul George just misses the top 10 of Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 NBA players list
All throughout this week, the experts and analysts at Sports Illustrated have been releasing their list of the top players for the 2018-19 NBA season. Coming in just outside of the top 10 at No. 11 is Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Paul George.
George, now 28 years of age, is widely viewed as one of the best players in today’s game — for good reason. The former No. 10 overall pick has a smooth stroke, stellar handles, and great defensive skills. He truly is a versatile player — one who’s able to play several positions with proficiency.
After seven years with the Indiana Pacers, George is now making waves in OKC, where he has continued to impress. He made 79 appearances with the Thunder during their 2017-18 regular-season campaign, racking up averages of 21.9 points on 43.0 percent shooting from the field (40.1 percent from beyond the arc), 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.0 steals in 36.6 minutes per outing.
George has teamed up with another great player in Russell Westbrook. Together, the two All-Stars create a lot of headaches for opposing sides, as both command on-ball attention from the defense.
Both operate in ways that make the other’s job easier: Westbrook’s shot creation is a relief to George, who can do more of his work off the ball. Meanwhile, George is enough of a draw that a defense can’t just load up against Westbrook’s drives. One pushes, the other pulls.
The Thunder were sent home in the first round of last season’s playoffs, losing to the Utah Jazz in six games. Without a doubt, Oklahoma City will be looking to push further in the coming season.