NBA head coaches passed over Paul George as a reserve selection for the 2018 All-Star Game, but that didn't stop Washington Wizards boss Scott Brooks from heaping praise on the swingman for the way he's anchored the Oklahoma City Thunder on both ends of the floor this season.
"He is one of the best in the league," Brooks said following the Wizards' 121-112 loss to the Thunder on Thursday, according to ESPN.com's Royce Young. "Guarding anyone on the floor is what makes him, well, not an All-Star, but we all know he is. He's the best two-way player in basketball."
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant would contend with Brooks' assessment—as would John Wall, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, a healthy Kawhi Leonard and a host of other studs.
But subjective arguments aside, George has been tremendous since arriving in Oklahoma City.
Through Thursday night's win over the Wizards—the Thunder's sixth straight—George is averaging 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and a league-leading 2.2 steals per game. The 27-year-old is also in the midst of shooting a career-best 41.7 percent from three.
"There's a lot of players in the league that are great offensive players, but they're not great defensive players," Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said, according to the Associated Press' Cliff Brunt. "I think arguably, it would be hard to make a case either way of what end of the floor he's better on, offense or defense, because he's that special."
Stats courtesy of NBA.com.