Did Paul George Choke and Cost the Game for the LA Clippers Against the Phoenix Suns?

Published 06/23/2021, 1:56 AM EDT
Jun 22, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George reacts on the bench against the Phoenix Suns in the first half during game two of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The LA Clippers were so close yet so far from tying the Western Conference Finals series. But the Phoenix Suns didn’t spare a single second to prevent that from happening and became victorious with under one second left for the buzzer to go off. While most are celebrating DeAndre Ayton’s game-winning alley-oop, some are firing shots at Paul George for this mishap.

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Did we see him return to his Pandemic P phase? Or do fans and critics want to just find ways to blame the loss on somebody? Take a look at the hard facts.

Paul George didn’t do enough for the Clippers to seal the win

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From being labeled as ‘Playoff P’ to his downfall last season and now being renamed as ‘Pandemic P’, Paul George has come a long way. He proved that he could be the best right-hand man to Kawhi Leonard throughout the season with great performances. His elite form in Game 1 also backs this statement, in which he went head to head with Booker and finished the night with 34 points.

However, one slipup, and PG is back to being a choker. With 8 seconds left on the clock, George missed two free throws that could have given the Clippers a bigger lead that the Suns couldn’t have overcome easily. Instead, DeAndre Ayton pulled off a historic alley-oop that landed them a point ahead, and the game ended at 104-103.

As per StatMuse, “Paul George missed 5 free throws tonight. He hasn’t missed that many FTs in a game since 8 seasons ago (his only other time in his career).”

Not only that, but he has never gone 0-2 from the FT line, except once this season against the Brooklyn Nets in February. “He went exactly 2-2 from the FT line 104 times this season entering tonight,” posted ESPN Stats and Info.

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What about the Clippers’ comeback in the fourth quarter?

What is missing is that George may have missed those free throws but if it wasn’t for his valuable contribution in the last quarter, there would be no lead for the Clippers to protect. His efficiency and 10 points in the fourth quarter helped them grab the much-needed last-minute lead that they had.

Unfortunately, a player’s worth is usually defined by whether he wins the game or not. This is why Ja Morant also came to PG’s rescue on Twitter and wrote, “Mfs be quick to talk bout PG”. 

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What are your thoughts on this incredible game that left everyone in a daze? Do you think PG is partially responsible for their loss or can this just be pinned on their bad luck?

DIVE DEEPER

Paul George – His Clippers Contract, Net Worth, and Noteworthy Endorsement Deals

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Yashima Bhatia

1317 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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