“I Couldn’t Wait to be Home:” Paul George after his First Home Game for the Clippers

By 11 months ago

Paul George had to wait for a while to play in his new home since his move from Oklahoma City Thunder to Los Angeles Clippers in the pre-season.

A shoulder injury has kept him away from the courts and he has been in rehabilitation since May this year.

On Sunday, he played the first home game of the season, helping his team score 150 points and win by a huge 49-point margin.

“It means everything. I couldn’t wait to get in front of this crowd. I couldn’t wait to be home, play home,” he said talking to Fox Sports after the game.

It was only his second appearance after the long injury lay-off after taking part in the 132-127 defeat against New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

After a seemingly impressive returns of 33 points, 4 assists, 9 rebounds in 24 minutes of his Clippers debut, George felt it was “terrible” and he needed to improve.

“I thought I was terrible, I’ve got a lot to get back to, just from my performance, my defense, just for the flow of the game,” he had said after the previous game.

Paul George did improve in the number of points scored after the second game. Playing 21 minutes in his first home game, George returned a haul of 37 points, which is the most points scored by a player in less than 21 minutes according to Basketball-Reference.

“I thought I was better,” George said. “I had a better flow. My body felt better, my legs felt better. I was actually able to just move. I though the first game everything was so fast paced and it was coming at me quick. Whereas this game, I felt ready coming into it and my guys helped along with it.”

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George became the first player in Clippers franchise history to score 30+ points in his first two games with the franchise, and if his average points per game is to be calculated after just 44 minutes of play in all, it comes out to be 35 points.

Coming back to the game after being involved in rehabilitation for almost six months, George conceded the period being tough and credited his teammates who motivated him to get back stronger.

“Long process! I have been in rehabilitation since the middle of May and it has been long and hard. But I have a great team around me, who really push me and help me along the way. Anybody going to rehab is tough, but you got to take it one day at a time and you just got to stay with it.”

The Clippers, after getting back to winnings ways, will be looking to keep it up, with their next game coming against Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. Clippers managed a 49-point victory against the Hawks without the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Pat Beverley. They can be team to watch out for going ahead, when they get back to full strength.

“Really dangerous,” George said about his new team. “We got three guys in our starting group that is out right now that are. We just got to pull in for one another. This is a team that is looking forward to play deep in the season. So, it’s about coming out here being healthy and taking care about bodies.”

The exciting pre-season prospect of watching George and Leonard play alongside each other still remains a prospect with the latter missing the last two games. Clippers coach Doc Rivers seemed positive of the prospect becoming a reality on Tuesday against Oklahoma.

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