Lost amid the incredible OKC rally to stun Utah in Game 5 – the 32-7 3rd quarter run by the Thunder; 45 points on 39 shots from Russell Westbrook; the benching of Carmelo Anthony; the home cooking foul calls from officials – has been the quietly awesome series Paul George is having.
That’s free-agent-to-be Paul George.
Against what was the 2nd best defense in the NBA regular season (Boston was 1st), Paul George is averaging 28.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg and shooting 45 percent from the field and 41 percent on 3-pointers. “Playoff P” is shooting 88 percent from the foul line.
The media will certainly be in full “Maybe This Will Spark the Thunder” mode after the amazing OKC rally in Game 5. And that’s no surprise, really, given how much the media loves Russell Westbrook. But unless the Utah bigs get in foul trouble in Game 6 and George and Westbrook go bonkers again, the Jazz should win, and we’ll be back to the “Paul George is gone” discussion.
I can’t even see George staying if they manage to win this series. The Thunder had 13 assists in the win, and just 10 in the Game 4 loss. They were 28th in the NBA in assists per game last season.
The Lakers actually pass the ball. Sure, they were only 19th in the league last year, but that was with a rookie point guard (who missed 30 games). Lonzo Ball is a pass-first point guard. Where do you think a scoring machine like George will want to play?
Any Lakers fans who are still on the fence about Paul George, just take a look at this series. He’s quietly been very, very good.