Even though that might sound a bit strange for a moment but Paul George is one of the biggest surprises in the NBA this season. George elevated his game even more than before and from our perspective is a legitimate candidate for the MVP award simply because of what he brings to his team on a nightly basis.
According to different stats, Paul George has upped his points, rebounds, assists, and steals, retained his blocks, reduced his turnovers, improved his percentages attempting more, while playing lesser minutes. Paul George is doing pretty much everything on both ends of the floor for the Oklahoma City Thunder this season.
Paul George was scoring 22 points per game last season, while this season he raised his scoring to over 27 points per game while at the same time shooting better from the field. His consistency in the three-point shot is also one aspect of his game that is improved, and George is taking fewer threes but with slightly better accuracy than in the previous season.
His increased efficiency makes him a real threat and teams even have to double team George at certain times which enables him to find his teammates with less coverage. He is averaging 4 assists per game which is one his career highs as well. At the same time, he is giving up the same amount of turnovers as last season and has shown better ability into making the right decision at the right time.
Defense is another thing George does extremely well for someone who has such a usage rate on offense. Even with Adams and Westbrook on the same team, George is grabbing 8 rebounds which is his career high. George was known as a solid defender from the early days in his career but now he is playing with more understanding of the game and is one of the leaders in steals in the league at 2,3 per game. George who is a 6’9″ forward is extremely fast for his height and can cover several positions on the floor which makes him a great a great asset defensively for the Thunder.
All of these improvements are coming at slightly fewer minutes played than last season and it’s astonishing what George is doing after that horrific leg injury that happened to him 4 years ago during practice with Team USA. We should definitely appreciate what George is doing this season leading the Thunder to the third best spot in the western conference after winning 6 straight games in the past couple of weeks.
It will probably be hard for George to win an MVP award this season after Harden took the show for the past couple of months with his historic performances and Giannis who is the absolute leader on a Milwaukee Bucks team that is one of the biggest surprises this season.
Nevertheless, Paul George should definitely be in the conversation for the MVP and DPOY award this season but than again if OKC continues to play at the level they are at this moment, the ultimate prize for George and Thunder might even be the NBA championship.