The reemergence of MVP caliber, 3 and D small forward Paul George has been one of the best revelations of this season. Paul George’s play so far this season is validating the reason he was the most sought-after free agent this past summer. George stunned everyone when he elected to re-sign with OKC to the tune of $137 million dollars over 4 years. No wonder Lakers fans were upset and booed him mercifully the other night. George lit the Lakers up to a tune of 37 PTS. One can only imagine how the Lakers would look if you plug George into that roster. He is having a career year averaging 27 PTS 8.1 TRB 4 AST on 45% shooting from the field. He is experiencing career highs in points, rebounds, steals, and field goal attempts.
George has officially been able to return to peak form after suffering a gruesome leg injury back in the summer of 2014 during an inter-squad Team USA scrimmage. George’s play has him in this seasons MVP conversation. The Thunder are currently second in the western conference with a 25-13 record and are coming off a road win against the Portland Trail Blazers. According to Basketball-Reference the Thunder rank 20th in ORtg and are number 1 in DRtg.
George who has always been regarded as one of the best wing defenders in the league, but nobody thought he would be the number one option on a team that has Russell Westbrook playing point guard. The Often polarizing Westbrook deserves a lot of credit for becoming more of a facilitator this season. Westbrook has opted to defer to George on the offensive end this season. Westbrook's usage rate is down to 30.1%, which is the lowest its been since the 2009-2010 season. This has allowed George to flourish on the offensive end.
Paul George has the Thunder in the conversation as one of the teams that can possibly beat the Warriors and make the NBA Finals. While the Thunders defense has been elite they don't have enough offense to get past the Warriors. If George can keep this up and the Thunder finish one or two in the western conference he will have a strong case to be this seasons MVP. Especially if the Thunder make it to the conference finals and are competitive against the Warriors.