Paul George. 5x NBA All-Star. 4x All-NBA Third Team. 2014 All-Defensive First Team. 2x All-Defensive Second Team. 2013’s NBA Most Improved Player. Olympic Gold Medalist (2016 Rio Olympics). PG finished 10th in the league in defensive win shares (tied with Defensive Player of the Year winner Rudy Gobert and ahead of DPOY Runner-Up Joel Embiid. That is to say that PG13 is amongst the very best wing defenders in the league when he’s totally locked in. He’s the ideal second option on the team. Not quite great enough to ALWAYS be the primary option on offense, but crafty in his creativity and ability to be a playmaker to attack a shifted defense. Not necessarily a next-gen Scottie Pippen, but certainly in THAT mold (a lockdown defender who can play a super second fiddle offensively). When the Thunder were able to throw out Roberson and George on the perimeter, most teams had a hard time manufacturing any space to breathe, and boy was that fun to watch.
So this video is mostly about his blocks and steals (a stat in which he finished as second best in the league (Victor Oladipo finished first)), but obviously we should all know by now that these aren’t the ultimate metrics for measuring defense. What you’ll watch unfold in the video, however, isn’t the classic “guy gambles for steals and gets out of position to generate them” but instead you’ll see a very heady player, read the play and shrink the floor and use his length to disrupt and destroy defensively. Plus, you’ll get to witness George’s great gift of being able to strap up multiple positions. Again, blocks and steals aren’t the only thing on defense, and I tried to include as many possessions as I could get where he would shadow a player off ball, then deny them the give back, but just know that defense isn’t all about the flashy stuff. It’s effort, passion, concentration, and communication.
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