Paul George eager to earn more appreciation for his defensive efforts
What's the story?
The Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George wants more respect for his collective efforts on the defensive end of the floor.
In case you didn't know...
George averages 5.1 deflections and 2.6 steals per game and leads the league in both these departments. This has directly impacted the OKC defence as they are third in the league in terms of defensive efficiency, while ranking highest in turnovers forced with 18.8 on average per game.
The heart of the matter...
The OKC power-forward is widely recognised as one of the best winger scorers across the league, but the three-time All-Defensive stopper wants to receive more respect and recognition for his efforts on the other end of the floor.
He told senior NBA writer Marc Spears of the Undefeated: "I don't think I get the respect. I've done it at a high level in Indiana. But that's an award the media gets to vote for and chooses. I don't think I was on that national level in terms of my defence."
George displayed his talents during Wednesday's win by locking down one of the league's best offensive players in Kevin Durant. He ended with 21 points on 8-17 shooting, which included four turnovers. George himself was tireless across both ends of the court, ending with 10 of his side's 27 deflections and four steals too.
However, his defensive prowess is nothing new. He was a core piece of the Indiana Pacers side that almost pushed the Big Three era of Miami Heat over the edge, with their tenacious and persistent defence.
"We had one of the best defences in history in Indiana. I had a lot of help, tremendous amount of help. I thought I was the best one-on-one defender early in my career. I get a chance to showcase that here."
Unfortunately, that Pacers side fell apart, especially after George broke his leg. However now, he has found another opportunity to replicate the same with OKC.
Oklahoma City Thunder (8-9) are currently positioned in 8th spot within the Western Conference and will be eager to start racking up more victories. They face the Detroit Pistons (11-6) tomorrow.
Paul George has been one of the best two-way players in the league for quite some time. As a result, he should definitely get more credit for the overall impact that he has, and not only on the defensive end, when on the floor.