4-time All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist Paul George is taking on a new challenge in his 8th season, by joining forces with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. George was welcomed to Oklahoma City in style.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) July 13, 2017
George has been the number one option offensively for the majority of his career, and now he must learn how to play with another superstar caliber player. The sky is the limit for a George/Westbrook duo, but his time in Oklahoma City could be short lived if the two alpha dogs do not click in time.
Russell Westbrook led the league in usage rate last year at 42.5, which was 7.4 points more than the second ranked player. Westbrook is a ball dominant guard who, despite having huge assists numbers, struggles to truly make his teammates better. George has never had to worry about the amount of touches he would get during the course of the game because offenses have always run through him. If Westbrook refuses to relinquish some of the offensive load to Paul George, this team will not be as successful as they should be, and Paul George will struggle tremendously. George has shown in recent times, that he doesn’t take to kindly to being denied the basketball.
— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) April 16, 2017
George will struggle in the first few months in his time with Oklahoma City because of Westbrook’s tendency to over-dribble and dominate the ball. It will take some time for Westbrook to realize that he needs George to ease the offensive load for them to challenge teams like the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs. Once they do get on the same page though, the rest of the NBA needs to watch out. Many people have forgotten that Paul George is in a contract year. He is determined to play at his absolute best so big name franchises like the Los Angeles Lakers throw out max dollars for his services. Look for Paul George to average 26 points this season, and make an All-NBA defensive team.
It’s a new era in Oklahoma City, and NBA fans everywhere need to be excited to see Paul George, and the new look Thunder!