breaking: Collision shuts down part of Lake Hefner Parkway Wednesdaydeveloping: Beth Chapman, co-star of bounty hunter reality TV, diesLive video: Day 22 of Oklahoma opioid trial

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Paul George goes through Thunder practice after shooting woes in Game 1

PORTLAND, Ore. – Paul George says he’s pain free. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s healthy.

After practice at the Moda Center on Monday, the All-Star walked over to the media scrum with his shirt halfway on his body – a large ice bag wrapped around the right shoulder which has plagued him nearly two months.

“Shoulder’s good,” George said.

George says he’s fine, that it’s his shooting rhythm that’s been thrown off. George is cleared to play. Yet, the Thunder All-Star is clearly showing the effects of the injury, effects which could decide its first-round series against the Blazers.

The Thunder is trailing 0-1 to Portland, but George and the Thunder appear set to ride out the series with a daily watch on his health.


“I think he probably continues to get better and feels better, hopefully,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Monday at Thunder practice. “A day like today where he can shoot a little more, yesterday, hopefully helps him get back into kind of a rhythm and get back feeling comfortable.

“I think any player when you have that kind of time not being able to pick up a ball and do things, there’s going to be some flow and rhythm you’re going to have to find.”

After the Thunder’s 104-99 loss to Portland on Sunday, George announced he hadn’t shot the ball since April 9 against Houston, a game the Thunder won, but came with a cost.

In that game, George re-aggravated his shoulder soreness in a physical contest. In the Thunder’s four-game series against Portland in the regular season, George averaged 15 free throw attempts per game, but shot just six in Game 1.

Donovan still said George is fine, along with Russell Westbrook, who tweaked his right ankle in the fourth quarter on Sunday. Both players participated in the Thunder’s light practice Monday.

But just because George is fine today doesn’t mean he’ll wake up Tuesday morning OK. George was a game-time decision before Sunday's game.

The Thunder appears to have put the ball in George’s court, too. When Donovan was asked about his concern for George, he defaulted to him being cleared to play and the 28-year-old playing a large part in communicating how he’s feeling. Donovan said since George’s injury first flared up on Feb. 26, he’s never had the Thunder’s medical staff place him on a minutes restriction when George is cleared to play.

“Something could happen, but currently in the state he’s in now I feel he’s fine and we’re always going to put his health first,” Donovan said.

George has missed four games in that stretch. On Sunday he scored 26 points, but on an inefficient 24 shots.

Even if he’s not efficient, the Thunder can ill afford to miss his scoring punch and defensive presence.

“It's well enough now to throw out any injury problems,” George said Monday. “It didn't have an effect during the game, regardless of me taking hits, falling to the deck. I hadn't shot or picked the ball up in four days. Yesterday was my first day giving it a go on the court. It's going to be some shots that go in and out, shots that don't fall. But I had a good day of preparing today. So, I feel good about it.”

Related Photos
Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8375b2e309da07b1793f7c4e00272ef0.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a94fdfd4e907d83429cca0af1ac378fb.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts signals from the sideline during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts signals from the sideline during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts signals from the sideline during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-250bae6d327304973cbf793be7f83e6a.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, right, drives against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, right, drives against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, right, drives against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4edf860c083670707ba160bf879b7618.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, grabs a rebound as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, and Thunder forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, grabs a rebound as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, and Thunder forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, grabs a rebound as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, and Thunder forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-06d997ae3b57a560867dac985a0c9435.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins, front left, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins, front left, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins, front left, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-93a2ab23ed1a6e468ece17b4cc4a622d.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, left, and forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, left, and forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, left, and forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-15fef1c9b7b4819b84d860c288820041.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) scores against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) scores against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) scores against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d1a38dd77cea5b920b5da88a24ba4bfe.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan shouts instructions during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan shouts instructions during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan shouts instructions during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f15387d2c7eee7922c0e84d6ba51bf20.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-701484d1909b784f0fcbf66d16df9245.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, blocks the shot of Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, blocks the shot of Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, blocks the shot of Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2c2bed6891486f199869e896dd5f5f46.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, shoots as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, defends during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, shoots as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, defends during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, shoots as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, defends during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e006906915cdeb82c6377930c0f47435.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, has his shot blocked by Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, has his shot blocked by Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, has his shot blocked by Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6ed74a6cf01c58dab991bcbeb150df9e.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, reacts after making a basket as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, trails the play during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, reacts after making a basket as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, trails the play during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, reacts after making a basket as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, trails the play during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8375b2e309da07b1793f7c4e00272ef0.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9fafa2fa2cd1dcd1eac64ba59cd6f1dc.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, knocks the ball away from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, knocks the ball away from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, knocks the ball away from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2a75b308be8a09261dbba6dca129d364.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook interacts with the crowd during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook interacts with the crowd during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook interacts with the crowd during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure>
Erik Horne

Erik Horne is in his fourth season on the Thunder beat. Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013 following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The... Read more ›

Comments