Los Angeles Clippers fans have been waiting for what seems to be an eternity to see small forward Paul George take the court and make his big L.A. debut. George has yet to suit up this season due to surgeries in both of his shoulders. With much anticipation and a lot of social media teasers, the long wait is finally over. Today against the New Orleans Pelicans, PG stepped onto the court as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Going into the game, the six-time All Star was ready to play. With about 9:15 left in the first quarter, PG took one strong dribble from about 10-feet from the basket and powered up for a leaning jumper to score his first bucket of the season. PG-13 was taken out of the game almost immediately after, as the team is taking it slow with him.
After last night’s tough loss to the Houston Rockets, Clippers’ fans needed more. They are still top contenders to win the NBA Championships, but without PG, there is obviously a missing puzzle piece. Last night, George took to Instagram to tease his debut. He captioned his photo, “the wait is over…line it up.”
Per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints, George also teased his return Tuesday on his Instagram story. He reposted Terrance Mann’s post and said, “It’s been real lol the game needs me though.”
These teasers only added to fans’ anticipation, making the wait seem even longer. With Clippers star player Kawhi Leonard out of games due to load management, fans need another star player to fill in the gaps.
Paul George’s Preparation
George has been in recovery since April and it wasn’t until this past Saturday, November 9th that the All Star participated in his first 5-5 during practice. He hadn’t even practiced lightly until Saturday, November 2nd, so PG’s rehab was pretty intense. Per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints, for this reason, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said in a pregame interview that they would be patient with George and that there would be no expectations of him just yet.
Despite not having any expectations yet, George seemed pumped to finally play. The Los Angeles Clippers posted a video of George “clocking in,” and George said, “I feel good. Feel good. Back in office. 13 is back in office.
George played exceptionally well in his first game back. Though he picked up five fouls he still ended the game with 33 points, nine rebounds and four assists in just over 24 minutes. He was 10-17 from the field 3-5 from the 3-point and 10-10 on his free throws.
George took the court without his superstar teammate Kawhi Leonard. Leonard was on the bench due to load management, but there are plenty of other games the dynamic duo can take the court together. Once this happens there are no limits as to what this team can accomplish. Fans will have to wait and see what these two have in store for the league because they are certainly a force to be reckoned with.