Things did not work out for Paul George in Indiana but leaving was what he needed to realize his potential. Now he has the chance to win a title.
Sometimes it’s best to leave certain situations to go into better ones. While what you have at the moment can be great it is just time to move on. That was the case for Paul George during his exit from the Indiana Pacers.
George said that one day he would talk about the move from Indiana and now would seem like the best time because of the layover from the pandemic we are currently under.
“I had the best power forward at the time saying he wanted to come to Indy and team up with me,” George said.
George then said that the Pacers told him that they are a small market and they couldn’t afford it. While it has been heavily debated who the best power forward was at that time or who he is even talking about, it’s still interesting to finally find out the reason he moved to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While George was with the Pacers, he was able to build himself to becoming one of the best players in the league. After two years of learning the NBA game, he finally made an All-Star team during his third year.
He led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals in back-to-back seasons. They were one of the rising teams in the league but they just could not get over the LeBron James led Miami Heat.
George did great things in Indiana, but leaving the team actually helped his career in terms of individual recognition and the long term benefits have made him join a title contender. George was able to realize his two-way potential after he left the Pacers.
He was able to average 2.0 steals per game in his first season in OKC and he led the league in steals the second year with 2.2 steals a night in 2018-19.
Those two years are the best years George has had in terms of stealing the ball. He was more relied on to score in Indiana. The most steals he averaged in a season was 1.9 steals per game during the 2013-14 season. He was able to take his defense to a new level as a member of the Thunder.
Most great players in the NBA have averaged close to 30 points a game year in and year out. George is not one of those guys. While he has the talent to take over games, he has averaged more than 25 points per game only once in his career.
During the 2018-19 season, George averaged 28.0 points per game. The leave from Indiana elevated George into being considered as an MVP candidate that year. While in Indiana, the most he averaged was 23.7 points per game in 2016-17.
Playing in OKC for those two years gave George what he wanted. That is the chance to play with another great player in Russell Westbrook. He took full advantage of it, elevating his game to become one of the best players in the NBA.
While he was not able to win a championship, he was able to build his resume for his career. In Indiana, he was not able to play with the players he wanted but by leaving he got the chance at OKC and with the LA Clippers.
Westbrook was a former MVP who has the ultimate drive. It was clear to see that George incorporated that into his game and he was able to ascend to the next level.
Now with the Clippers, George is playing with Kawhi Leonard. Both are two of the best two-way players in the league and the Clippers have put on a Jordan-Pippen like show all season with their abilities. Now George has the best shot in his career to win his first NBA title.
While in Indiana, George was never able to put together a team good enough to beat LeBron James. It looks like there will be another conference finals matchup between the two. This time in the Western Conference.
The Clippers have beaten the Los Angeles Lakers two out of three times. The Clippers have the most complete lineup in the league. Things did not work out in Indiana, but George’s game and chances at winning a championship have improved. It is amazing what can happen when you take a chance and leave a situation.