Paul George made his season debut with the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday with a 33-point performance in 24 minutes in which he labeled as " ." The Clippers, without the services of Kawhi Leonard , lost that night to the Pelicans. On Saturday, his second game as a Clipper, and still without the other half of the dynamic duo formed in the offseason, George shouldered the load with 37 points and carried his team to a dominant 150-101 win over the Atlanta Hawks at home.
Just a minute into the game, George drove inside and floated one up and in off the glass, and he never slowed down. He dropped 15 points in the first six minutes alone to get the Clippers out to an early double-digit lead, and by halftime, he was up to 25 points. His 3-point shot was falling all night long, and he had no problem getting into the paint, where he scored a number of baskets and earned 11 free throws, all of which he knocked down.
By the time he checked out of the game early in the fourth quarter, he had recorded 37 points on 10 of 17 from the field and 6 of 11 from deep. He grabbed four rebounds and dished out three assists in just 20 minutes. If that wasn't enough, he also got the crowd up on their feet with an off-the-backboard alley-oop to Montrezl Harrell.
George has scored 70 points in 45 minutes on 20 of 34 from the field in his first two games with his new club. It doesn't take an expert to tell you that's an impressive start, but it's also a historic one. George set the franchise mark for most points in a home debut, and is now the first player in franchise history to score 30-plus points in his first two games.
George seems to have quieted any concerns about how he would look after double shoulder surgery in the offseason with these two big performances. Even if the Pelicans and Hawks aren't exactly defensive-oriented teams, it's a tremendous sign to see George moving so smoothly and scoring so easily this soon after getting back on the court.
And of course, you can't help but be excited about what this Clippers team is going to look like once Leonard and George finally get on the floor together. In fact, you might just be.