Paul George: Couldn't Lift My Shoulder 4 Days Before Thunder vs. Blazers Game 1

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2019

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 14:  Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on against the Portland Trail Blazers during Game One of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 14, 2019 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Paul George provided some perspective as to the severity of his shoulder injury following the Oklahoma City Thunder's 104-99 defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday in the opening round of the 2019 NBA playoffs.

"For me, it's just rhythm," George said to reporters, per the Washington Post's Ben Golliver. "Four days ago, I couldn't even lift my shoulder. Fast forward to today, that's the first day I shot the ball."

George shot 8-of-24 from the field and 4-of-15 from three-point range in the defeat. The Thunder were 5-of-33 on three-pointers as a team.

ESPN.com's Royce Young reported Friday that George was considered day-to-day with right shoulder soreness. The issue with his right shoulder dated back to February, and the Thunder listed him on the injury report with left shoulder soreness in March.

As Sunday showed, simply having George on the court isn't enough for Oklahoma City, just like it wasn't enough last year when he shot 2-of-16 in the team's Game 6 defeat to the Utah Jazz

George is the Thunder's leading scorer and best perimeter defender. When he has an off night, it creates a ripple effect on both ends of the court.

The Thunder play Portland on Tuesday in Game 2. Even if it means increasing the chance of falling behind 2-0 in the series, resting George might be the prudent approach. Then when things shift to Oklahoma City for Game 3, George's shoulder might be closer to 100 percent.

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