Paul George is fouling at an abnormally high rate so far in 2018-19
Paul George is fouling at a high rate this season.
It has reached the point where George fouled out against the Clippers on Friday night by picking up his sixth foul with just over a minute to go with the Thunder down 11 points.
Then, on Sunday night against the Kings, George picked up his fifth foul with 22.8 seconds remaining in the third quarter and was forced to sit out until the 7:31 mark of the fourth quarter.
George committed only three fouls in the regular-season opener against the Warriors, but he is averaging a career-worst 4.7 fouls per game. His 14 total fouls are tied for fourth-most and his 4.7 fouls per game are sixth-worst in the NBA.
He addressed the foul situation on Sunday night.
"Some of the fouls I picked up tonight was beyond me," George said. "I don't know what it is. I've always had this issue against the stripes so maybe it's just me and [I need to] get better with it."
Of course, the team has played just three games and it is highly unlikely George will continue fouling at this rate, but it is interesting to note, nonetheless. George fouled out just one time in 79 games last season, which coincidentally enough, happened in the fourth game of the season.
The NBA has informed teams this season that it will place emphasis on allowing players to move more freely on offense to cut down on arm wraps, grabbing and dislodging by both offensive and defensive players.
As most Thunder fans will point out, there have been questionable calls on George, including a tough push-off call on him against the Kings for his fifth foul.
The change in how the game is officiated could be a result of George committing fouls at a higher rate, but George hasn't been the only high-profile player or coach to complain of the changes.
The Warriors, for instance, are committing eight more fouls per game on average this season, and Draymond Green criticized the changes by saying defense isn't an emphasis any more.
On Monday night, Lakers coach Luke Walton ripped the officiating in the team's 143-142 loss to the Spurs as the free-throw discrepancy was 38-26 in favor of the Spurs.
So, although George surely has been upset with some foul calls this season, it appears as though several others around the league have the same feeling and will take some adjusting.
We'll see if P.G. can adjust sooner, rather than later.
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