OKLAHOMA CITY — Paul George lost out in the race for NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. The news was announced on the NBA Awards Show on TNT.
Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz won the award. Giannis Antetokounmpo was the other finalist.
George helped lead Oklahoma City to a 38-20 record prior to injuring his shoulder in late-February. He missed three games before returning, but was hampered by the injury. He never was able to reach the level of play he and the Thunder enjoyed for most of the year.
The Thunder announced shortly after the season that George had undergone successful surgery on his right shoulder. Recently, George went under the knife once again to repair damage in his other shoulder.
Sam Presti revealed at his draft press conference that the All-Star forward is, “doing well,” and that he expects George to be, “healthier all around when he returns to the floor.”
OKC expects George to miss the off-season including training camp at the very least.
George averaged a career-high 28 points per game (led the Thunder) on 44-percent shooting from the floor. He also shot 38-percent on 11 attempts from deep. His effective field goal percentage tied a career high at 53-percent.
As a two-way player, George led the NBA in steals at 2.2 per game — a career high. Along with Russell Westbrook (1.95 steals per game), the duo helped Oklahoma City lead the league in steals, and finish in the top five in fast break points per game and efficiency.
George is also in the running for the league’s Most Valuable Player. In addition to individual awards, George was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team and All-NBA First Team — the first of his career.
Brady Trantham has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for The Franchise since April 2018 and for Thunder Digest since 2016. He hosts a Thunder podcast with Madysson Morris “OKC-82 Podcast” which can be found on all podcast outlets, and is a featured co-host on the Franchise Thunder Insider’s Show on Saturdays from 10-12, in addition to weekly guest spots on “The Franchise Drive” on Tuesdays and “The Franchise Morning Show” on Wednesdays. Follow him on Twitter @BradyDoesSports