For a month or two, Paul George was making the MVP question a three-player race. He was a defensive player of the year candidate and was putting up efficient monster numbers.
After his horrible injury, the question was will he ever get back to his best Indiana days, but PG went beyond that. He was controlling the game in a way few expected him ever to be able to do. Then the All-Star break happens and his performance started to drop. He was out of the MVP conversation, and OKC began to rack up losses and falling in the standings.
They managed to get up to 6th and give all the permutations of the playoff picture, felt good about their chances. They are going back to Oklahoma City with two losses and more concerning than that; they have played poorly. The main reason?
I’ma tell you, what I think he has is a torn labrum. I’ve dealt with that before in my career and it is very painful. I had surgery and I was out four months. I think he’s dealing with that.
Tracy McGrady joined others who questioned PG’s health since his performance dropped. By the end of the regular season, you could see George fighting through a screen and just stopping in obvious pain.
Westbrook is having one of the worst shooting seasons in NBA history, and without George, OKC has no chance in the playoffs, which could be the reason he is fighting through an injury like this. But why keep it a secret? It could be pride or gamesmanship, but something will need to change.
Remember when we wrote about the NBA being on the forefront of fighting to legalize gambling, as they see it as a new source of growth and income for the league? Gamblers don’t like to find out about injury after the fact. All the injury reporting in the NFL is there just to appease the gamblers.
We will follow this not only for the playoff implications in the near future but also as a long-term change the NBA will have to make.
P.S. Westbrook may prove his supermax a bad contract even before it kicks in. Auch.