Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George has said that he has benefited largely from the extended season suspension as he has recovered from his injuries and now he feels great ahead of the season restart. The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic but the league is hoping to conclude the season in a bubble, that is placed at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
George, who was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Clippers last summer, missed the opening 11 games of the season because of a should injury. The 30-year-old had been putting up good numbers before the season was suspended -- 21 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists per game -- but throughout the whole season he was lingered by a shoulder issue.
"The whole season, all the way up until maybe a month or two ago, I had to always do shoulder rehab stuff, warming the shoulder up,” George said Friday on a conference call with reporters, as quoted on Pro Basketball Talk.
“Just so much went into stuff I had to do before I actually took a foot on the floor. Now I feel great again”.
George not the only Clippers star that benefited from the break
Kawhi Leonard, who led the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA championship last season, opted not to return to the Raptors as he signed a deal with the Clippers last summer.
Leonard has been absolutely phenomenal in his first season with the Clippers since he has averaged 26.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5 assists -- all that while lingered by knee and thigh issues. "For this team, man, I think our aspirations, again, this time off has given us what we needed,” George said.
“We had some guys that was banged up, nagging injuries. The more time gave us more time for us to aid those injuries and to get back to 100”. Meanwhile, coach Doc Rivers underlined that a lot of work is ahead of the team as he said: "This is not a normal way of starting back,” Rivers said of the mini-training camp all 22 teams at the NBA restart will get in Orlando.
“Usually going into training camp, guys have been scrimmaging for three and four weeks, they’ve been playing, shooting on hoops. That’s not happening. This is a group, some of the guys have not touched a basketball or seen a gym until two weeks ago. We got a lot of work to do on both ends”.