Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers has had a rough couple of playoff performances of the past couple of years and, due to himself giving himself his own nickname ” Playoff P,” social media has had a field day with all types of memes. The new nickname social media gave George was ” Pandemic P”. Due to the times we were in last year, it was fitting for George to get a nickname like that.
My issue last year with Los Angeles was that the whole team thought they had done something; maybe it was the Kawhi Leonard effect where he is coming off of a championship season with the Toronto Raptors. But nobody else in Los Angeles had done anything up to that point, and they were acting like they all have done something. Personally, I think that rubbed off on George last season. We all know what happened in the bubble with Los Angeles and especially George, but so far this postseason has George shook off the playoff demons? More importantly, does he finally deserve to be called “Playoff P”?
After last night’s win against the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles is still in this series, and one of the main reasons is Paul George. Whether people like it or not, George has been playing his best basketball since the Utah Jazz series which had to be huge hump for him to get over. If you remember all the way back to 2018 when George was on the Oklahoma City Thunder, going against Utah was a wake-up call for Oklahoma and George big time. Before the series even started, George gave himself the nickname ” Playoff P”.
Looking back at that series, it was an embarrassing loss to a Rookie Donovan Mitchell. Game 6 George was awful, scoring just 6 points in a close-out game for Utah. Like, I said beating Utah in the playoffs must have been a relief for him. I am not going to get into the bubble with George. It’s been well known about the struggles he had inside the bubble, especially when George said he was having mental health issues inside the bubble. It’s not my or anyone’s place to comment on topics like that.
But in this series against Phoenix, George has looked amazing. Last night George scored 41 points and was the main reason why Los Angeles is going back home Wednesday night. Some could even argue that if George were to hit two free throws in game two then the series would have been tied at 1-1. Even game four was a game to be had for Los Angeles and George.
But, last night I was very impressed with George. Yeah, he scored 41 points and was 15-20 from the field, of course that is impressive. To me, what I was so impressed by was him attacking the rim and taking the contact. George is a rhythm player especially from the right side of the court. If George’s three-ball starts to fall, the in and out moves start to set up his jumper.
He was mixing and matching his game the whole night. When George’s jumper starts to fall then the defense has to overplay him getting a shot off, which Phoenix did and that led to George attacking the rim. George falls in love with his jumper too many times, but to be fair, once they start to go in then it’s hard not to stop shooting. That’s why it was a good sign for George to attack the rim, even going to the rim with three Phoenix defenders on him. To me, that shows that he’s not scared of contact and is not scared of the moment as he has been at times. With George playing like this, then I think this series is going seven.
Having said all that, George has been kicking away his playoff demons from the past couple of years, but people will still poke fun at George because he gave himself his own nickname which is a big no-no. Someone other than yourself has to give you a nickname, not yourself. If George and Los Angeles can come back from a 3-1 lead and make it to the finals without Leonard then people might have to take it easy on ” Playoff P”.