Paul George Basically Called The New NBA Ball Trash And Why A Ton Of Stars Are Struggling To Start The Season

Interesting comments here from Paul George following their 99-94 win over the Thunder where George put up a nice 32/9/7/3. The thing is, he shot 11-24. It didn't impact his three point shooting (5-8), but for a guy who is shooting 49/41% on the year so far that is a bit of a shocking number. We know the NBA's foul rule changes have impacted the game when it comes to guys scoring and trips to the line, but are we also seeing this new ball have a negative impact? It wouldn't exactly be the first time, remember when the league tried to change the ball back in 2006? That didn't exactly go over so well and ultimately David Stern went back to the old version. At the time the players talked about it being slippery and all this shit.

Now while he's "not making an excuse", I do wonder if George has a point. Just look around the league right now at some of the shooting struggles we're seeing. Guys who pretty much for their whole career have been legit shooters are suddenly having the worst shooting start of their lives

Damian Lillard: 34/23%

Jayson Tatum: 40/27%

Joel Embiid: 43/34%

James Harden: 39/38%

Donovan Mitchell: 40/31%

LeBron James: 43/33%

Bradley Beal: 37/22%

Steph Curry: 42/38%

Khris Middleton: 43/25%

De'Aaron Fox: 37/17%

Nikola Vucevic: 39/30%

D'Angelo Russell: 35/28%

You get the idea. Those guys just didn't forget how to shoot or anything, I mean those are some pretty heavy hitters and look at how they are all shooting the ball. Is that a random coincidence? It's hard for me to say yes. There probably is some truth to what George is saying, and I bet other players feel the same way

Unfortunately for them, I don't think we'll see Adam Silver pull a Stern and go back to the old ball. It's also important to note that we only hear about this stuff when a guy goes 11-24 and not the other nights where he maybe goes 16-24 so take it all with a grain of salt. I should also mention that not every struggling star talks this way. Just listen to what Dame said last night as his struggles continue

What an incredible answer.

I just find it interesting that a player of George's caliber was that open and honest about something that clearly has the evidence to support the idea that maybe this new ball is actually trash. This isn't a situation where star players are having a hard time adjusting to the new foul rules and it's throwing off their whole game. 

For a league that spent so many years caring only about offense, this is a weird place to be. Their rule changes have empowered defenses and are actually making it possible for players to guard elite scorers and now this ball change is dropping down the league shooting average which is another win for defense. Given how they were trending, I didn't think something like this would ever happen. It makes me wonder if this trend continues is we have the bigger stars start to weigh in. Like if LeBron and Steph call Adam Silver and tell him to go back to the old ball, does he have the guts to turn them down and tell them to just get used to it? Is this all going to be a non factor in like 2 months once guys get used to it? That didn't exactly happen in 2006, so it's something to monitor, especially if you're someone who enjoys betting on basketball.

Personally, I say suck it up. These are supposed to be the best basketball players in the world. We've all had times in our basketball lives where you had to use a fucked up ball. You figure it out. I have a hard time believing these guys can't figure out how to make shots just because they are using a different basketball. I know there sure are a whole lot of fanbases that are hoping they figure it out and they do it soon.