Paul George was drafted by the Indiana Pacers as the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. After being part of the All-Rookie team for the 2010-11 season, George continued his growth and was named the NBA's Most Improved Played in the 2012-13 season.
Despite suffering a horrible injury that left him inactive for the majority of the 2014-15 season, George made a return in 2015. George remains a perennial All-Star and has always featured in discussions as one of the best two-way players in the league.
His reputation in the NBA playoffs has seen highs and lows. Nicknames like "Playoff P" during his playoff with the Oklahoma City Thunder were born out of his stellar performances, whereas "Pandemic P" was born out of his failures with the LA Clippers in the NBA Bubble.
The 2020-21 playoffs were a breakthrough for him. With the opportunity to bounce back and turn things around, George led the LA Clippers to the Western Conference Finals, a first in franchise history, without their superstar Kawhi Leonard.
With Kawhi's injury potentially keeping him out for a large part of the season, Paul George will be required to step up to the plate. Keeping this in mind, here are three reasons why Paul George could have an MVP caliber season.
#1 Paul George will be in the spotlight
The LA Clippers feature the superstar duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. However, between the two, it is obvious who the spotlight falls on. But the optics shouldn't take away from what George has accomplished.
Paul George had a great 2020-21 season. Averaging 23.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game, George put up some solid numbers, all while shooting 46.7% from the field and an efficient 41.1% from behind the arc. He also made his seventh appearance as an NBA All-Star.
Leonard's unfortunate injury in the playoffs does present a massive setback for the LA Clippers, but it is also an opportunity for Paul George. With the task of carrying the team as the primary superstar falling upon his shoulders, we can expect George to get a lot more touches on the offensive end while still contributing defensively.
However, he does need to stay healthy through the course of the season. Playing in only 54 games in the 2020-21 season, George cannot afford to take many games off.