There are not five players in the NBA playing better basketball than Paul George right now. I saw the Thunder take on the Trailblazers at the Moda Center last night and I walked away with an easy assessment; George was the best player on the court and it wasn't even close. Let me go off on a tangent and list the handful of players that are at the top of their game who could be debated as playing the best right now as of January 5th (not who is the best).
Harden is obviously a cheat code on offense what he's doing is crazy. The Beard is creating roughly 70 plus points on his own during his recent, blistering stretch. On the flip side he's not close to emulating PG's defensive presence. Giannis and Kawhi are similar in their two-way abilities. However, Antetokounmpo doesn't have a jumper and Leonard doesn't seem that fun to play with even when he does wreak havoc. LeBron is LeBron and in the playoffs we've seen how he reaches other levels not capable of basic humans. He's currently rehabbing and the Lakers have gone 1-4 in his absence. That leaves Anthony Davis who is playing out of his gourd and yet the Pelicans sit at the 13th spot three games under five hundred. Sure Durant deserves to be on the list but he's not playing that great right now and his attitude is suspect. I don't doubt his talents, he's probably the second best player on the planet, but you wouldn't know it by watching his team (which happens to also have Steph, Klay and Draymond). So I'm left with the idea that Paul George and Anthony Davis are perhaps the hottest and most talented two-way players in the Association right now. Of course I would build my team around Giannis or AD long term and I would choose LeBron or KD if it was one guy to take me to The Finals, but I'll ride with this Paul George anytime.
Now back to George... he's the best two-way player I've seen this year. He's so good and plays so hard while making it look so smooth. He's always in the right spot and intellectually he's reading plays before they unfold. Paul George would be so fun to play with and seems like a great teammate. Not only is he unselfish, he's also willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win, he has all the tools on both sides of the floor. It was a treat to see him display his talents in person. Through the years I have been wowed by a few players live—Giannis, Gobert and LeBron come to mind. George has now entered that list and not because of his physical size or alien-like gifts. Instead it's due to his fluid and poetic basketball style, he can do it all and does so with class. The Thunder won for the first time in Portland since 2014. The final score was 111-109. As a result the Blazers fell to seventh in the west and OKC rose up to the second spot. Only in the NBA.
Paul George @ Portland Jan. 4th - 37 pts (10-23 fg, 5-9 3pt, 12-14 ft) | 8 rbs | 2 ast | 1 stl