While Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George has opted not to address the media much as of late (specifically after Game 3), his shoulder has remained a topic of conversation. George has dealt with some sort of shoulder ailment recently and missed the regular-season finale against the Milwaukee Bucks because of it. Fortunately, he’s been able to play in each of the team’s playoff games.
But although George has been out there with his teammates and his status hasn’t been in doubt, there appears to be something going on with his shoulder. What exactly that is will remain the big question, and it’s one that the fans haven’t heard much about. Let’s take a look at what we do know about the Thunder star’s current injury and the situation involving it.
Paul George Shoulder Updates & Info
While a number of things have been brought to light on George’s shoulder, there hasn’t been anything overly serious to this point. As SB Nation’s Kristian Winfield pointed out previously, George was icing his shoulder every timeout and would wear a mesh shoulder brace under his jersey early in the series.
But even with that said, Nate Feken of KFOR revealed a video of Thunder coach Billy Donovan addressing George’s shoulder. During his comments, Donovan stated that George has never complained about it bothering him or the star forward not feeling like himself.
Donovan did go on to state that George couldn’t do anything with his arm prior to the regular-season finale, which is why he didn’t play. It’s apparent that George has fought through the pain aspect of it, however bad that was/is, and is now hoping to get his rhythm back.
Following Game 1 of the opening-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, Henry Abbott of True Hoop pointed out that George said he is “pain-free” and that his shoulder “didn’t have any effect” on the matchup.
Paul George’s Play Through Opening Games of NBA Playoffs
On the surface, George’s numbers look good through the first three games of the NBA playoffs. He’s averaged 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. But there’s plenty of question marks about his shooting and whether the shoulder is impacting it. After knocking down 8-of-24 (33.3 percent) from the field in Game 1, he bounced back with a strong performance in the second game.
George shot 11-of-20 (55.0 percent) during the tough 114-94 loss to the Blazers, and the hope was that he’d turned a corner. Unfortunately, his shooting numbers fell off in Game 3, as the 28-year-old made just 18.8 percent of his attempts (3-of-16) during a 120-118 victory.
It’s tough to gauge how much it’s George’s shoulder that’s impacting his play or simply his shot not falling, but through the first three postseason games, he’s made just 8-of-29 attempts from 3-point range. His 28.0 percent mark from deep, paired with the 35.7 percent mark from the field has remained a topic of conversation.