He’s worked and clawed his way to where he is now, He’s going to be special. —Paul George
SALT LAKE CITY — Paul George has had nice things to say about Utah’s superb rookie Donovan Mitchell ever since the first meeting between the two teams back in October.
When asked whether he noticed a competitive spirit with Mitchell from the start, George expounded on that before Saturday’s game.
“He was competitive from day one when I worked out with him during the pre-draft (workouts),” George said. “He was feisty then, he's feisty now, that's why I knew he was going to stick. I don't think nobody knew he'd have the season he's having this fast, but I knew he was going to be special throughout his career in this league.
“That’s because he had that wanting to be the best player on the floor mentality,” George added. “He’s worked and clawed his way to where he is now. He’s going to be special."
GEORGE IS HEALTHY: George had missed practice in between Games 1 and 2 because of a sore right hip that he injured in the first game. He declared himself 100 percent on Thursday, but must not have been quite 100 percent because of what he said after Saturday's shootaround.
When asked about his health Saturday, George said, “I’m getting better. I feel a lot better than yesterday. That’s improvement.”
OKC SHOOTING NOT OK: Russell Westbrook wasn’t available for interviews because he had to take a mandatory drug test. At first, the Oklahoma City public relations person said he would be back in five minutes, but he came back later, saying Westbrook wouldn’t be available.
Over the first two games of the playoffs, Westbrook has had his troubles shooting, going just 17 of 44 from the field and 2 for 7 from 3-point range. But he’s not the only one having problems finding his shot. Carmelo Anthony has only made 11 of 31 shots.
OKC coach Billy Donovan believes his team is getting good shots and says it’s just poor shooting and he has no explanation for it.
“When you’re generating good shots, there’s not a player I’ve ever come across a that doesn’t want to make every shot that he takes,” he said. “If every player was able to make every shot they take, they’d all shoot 100 percent. That’s going to happen, they didn’t shoot the ball particularly well they’re prideful guys, competitive guys, they’ll bounce back. They just had some looks that didn’t go down.”