NBA: Paul George demands more ‘respect’ for his defensive prowess
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George is regarded as one of the best two-way players in the league today for his tenacity on both ends on the floor.
Although considered as a lockdown defender at the wing position, most fans still view the four-time All Star as a pure scorer, which he recently addressed to Marc Spears of The Undefeated.
“I don’t think I get the respect. I’ve done it at a high level in Indiana,” George said of his defensive capabilities.
“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 defense.”
Justifying his case a premier defender in this league, George was instrumental in the Thunder’s victory against the defending champion, Golden State Warriors, on Thursday, holding Kevin Durant down to an 8-of-17 shooting while committing four turnovers.
Through 18 games this year, George is leading the league in steals at 2.6 per contest while also tallying an impressive 5.1 deflections each night.
His relentlessness is also a big factor for OKC ranking highest in turnovers forced rating (18.8)—the best in the NBA.
Prior to landing in Oklahoma City, George was one of the catalysts of the Indiana Pacers suffocating defense a few years back.
“We had one of the best defenses in history in Indiana. I had a lot of help,” he said.
“A 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,” George added. Khristian Ibarrola /ra