The 2021-22 NBA season has forced players to adjust a lot for the first time in years. First, the new NBA rule change took away the comfort of relying on free throws for many players. In addition to that, the league also changed the official ball of the games from Spalding to Wilson.
The result? We are seeing a league-wide drop in shooting percentages from players. Instead of putting up monster numbers, players are still adjusting to these changes. But it seems that Los Angeles Clippers superstar Paul George is still playing at an elite level.
In the absence of Kawhi Leonard, George has an enormous responsibility on his shoulders this season. He has to carry the team to a decent regular season and, if possible, to a deep playoff run. So far, PG13 has done a great job of keeping the goals within the reach of the team.
Despite playing well, even he believes that the Spalding ball was better than the new Wilson one.
"Not to make an excuse or anything, it's just a different basketball. It doesn't have the same touch or softness as the Spalding ball had. You'll see this year, there's going to be a lot of bad misses."
Although George is averaging 28.3 points per game while shooting 49.2% from the field, the same cannot be said for some other prolific shooters. For example, Damian Lillard is currently averaging a mere 18.3 PPG while putting up 35% from the field and just 23% beyond the arc.
Similarly, Bradley Beal is also going through a shooting slump with 24.3 PPG at 37.9 shooting percentage from the field. Additionally, Beal's three-point shooting is at a career-low of 22.9%.
The above-mentioned players are regarded as some of the best shooters in the league. To see them struggle is something that fans are not used to. Maybe the NBA made a bad decision by changing the ball? It is unlikely that the league will bring back the Spalding ball again, so the only option that the players have is to adjust.
Paul George has already proved it is not an unachievable task. Hopefully, other superstars will follow in his footsteps sooner rather than later.