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Paul George goes off despite playing limited minutes in his Clippers debut

The All-Star forward dropped 33 points in just 24 minutes for LA on Thursday vs. the Pelicans. We break down his performance and how to approach the stud moving forward.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George controls the ball against New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday in the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

For some reason I’m surprised and not surprised by this debut for Paul George. We all know going in that he’d be limited to around 20-25 minutes, but none of us thought he’d come out and look this good. But at the same time, come on, it’s PG-13 we’re talking about here. George was unable to lift to Clippers to a win over the Pelicans, but came close in a 132-127 loss, dropping 33 points with nine rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes.

What was most notable from that performance was George’s efficiency; he shot 10-of-17 from the field, hit 3-of-5 three-pointers and was 10-of-10 from the line. His usage was also an insane 46% when he was on the court. This has something to do with Kawhi Leonard resting for load management, but it was also clear PG was going to get his in this debut. And he did. At $7,900, his price was decent for tournament use and if you went that route, you were rewarded on DraftKings. George finished with 49.25 DKFP, smashing at a little above 6x value based on his salary.

So how do we handle PG-13’s return in fantasy and on DraftKings Sportsbook?

Fantasy Basketball Analysis, Los Angeles Clippers SF/PF Paul George

With George back, it’ll be interesting to see how him and Kawhi work together and how coach Doc Rivers splits up the rotations. It’s also worth noting Patrick Beverley rested last night also, but his impact is more on the defensive side of the ball. George and Kawhi will have the ball in their hands for most games. I imagine the two will start and then one will stay in with the second unit, start the second quarter and come back to finish the half. Both will be in for crunch time as well, so we’ll have to see who is taking the big shots. It’ll most likely be a hot hand situation, whomever is feeling it will get free reign. I don’t think PG will affect Kawhi’s usage and production too much, if anything it makes his matchups a bit easier.

For the rest of the lineup, it’s not so great news in terms of fantasy. Lou Williams dropped 31 points with nine assists Thursday, but there was no Kawhi or Beverley. Lou Will will still play 30+ minutes and get his, but I’d imagine his shot volume drops a bit. This could however drop his price on DK, making him an appealing GPP play on some nights.

As for some lines on DK Sportsbook, George is +5000 to win MVP, which looks good to get in on right now. If PG-13 keeps this up and the Clippers get back into first in the West over the Lakers, Kawhi and George will have a good chance at taking home the award. PG is also +3300 to win defensive player of the year, though that seems like a stretch unless the Clippers defensive efficiency rating (104.1 jumps up into the top 3-4 with George back.

Keep an eye on PG’s price heading into the Clippers’ matchup vs. the Hawks on Saturday. He’d be an appealing tournament play again in another great spot if his price doesn’t jump above $8,500 or so.

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