Scott Brooks Says Paul George Is 'Best 2-Way Player in Basketball'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- JANUARY 25: Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 25, 2018 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

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. 

On top of that, George ranks first among all players in deflections per game (4.4) and fourth in loose balls recovered (1.7 per game). 

"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

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