Paul George vs Devin Booker: A Rivalry Where History Runs Deep

Published 06/19/2021, 4:33 PM EDT
Jun 1, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (left) celebrates with Chris Paul against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The L.A. Clippers, with a win over the Utah Jazz in Game 6 last night, cemented a spot in the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history!

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Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns, on the other hand, were awaiting the victor of the Clippers-Jazz series after beating the Lakers in 6 games, and sweeping Denver in the second round. Both teams closed the regular season with the 4th and 2nd seed, respectively.

Jun 12, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) celebrates after a three-point basket against the Utah Jazz in the second quarter during game three in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

With both franchises peaking at the right moments in the Playoffs, this series should be one for the ages! Coming to matchups, while both teams match up well on paper, the injury to Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul’s COVID testing may have a significant impact on the outcome.

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Diving into the matchups

Devin Booker, who is currently averaging 27.9pts/6.8reb/4.8ast in his first-ever post-season, has been sensational. And with Mikhail Bridges, Cam Payne, and DeAndre Ayton stepping up, and Chris Paul, and Crowder leading the way, Phoenix is well-positioned to make the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.

Paul George, on the other hand, is reminding the league of that Indiana Pacers were the ones who single-handedly pushed the mighty Miami Heat to the limits from 2011 to 2014.

It’s been ‘revenge szn’ for George who is currently averaging 26.1pts/9.2reb/5.3ast in these Playoffs.

It clearly is his mission to deliver Clipper Nation their first championship, in the season when he signed his max extension with the franchise.

Even with Kawhi out for the last 2 games with a suspected ACL, the Clippers miraculously closed out Utah, with Paul George, Marcus Morris, Reggie Jackson, and a breakout game for Terrance Mann leading the charge.

While updates on Kawhi and CP3 are much awaited by the respective fan bases, it is almost a certainty that both stars will be out for Game 1 at Phoenix tomorrow.

Playoff rivalries- Playoff P vs Devin Booker

The animosity between Booker and George is no secret. The 2 have been jawing at each other since the beginning of the year when they met in the regular season in January.

After having endured the ridicule for choking a 3-1 lead last year, after all the noise they made back in 2019, George and the Clippers have responded, and how!

The rivalry dates back to the Bubble, where the two were pulling one move after another on each other. But in the end, Booker had the last laugh with a game-winner for the record books.

Their regular-season matchup saw Booker call Paul George “soft” after being fouled by a Suns teammate on a play when down by 4 to L.A. The referees stepped in to quell the tension before any punches were thrown.

The list of rivalries does not end here! This matchup will also see the rivalry between Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, who have resorted to physical brawls and cheap shots while facing one another.

The most recent altercation was early in the 2018-19 season when Paul and Rondo, who were with Houston and the Lakers respectively, got into an argument.

Watch This Story – Devin Booker, Dennis Rodman, And Other NBA Players Who Have Dated Gorgeous Celebrities. 

While it seems personal, both players have played with fire in their eyes when facing each other. With fans back in Phoenix, the Suns will draw their energy from the crowd.

And with these rivalries progressing to their next chapter, the first 2 games will be more than entertaining, to say the least!

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The next chapter

Jun 13, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts after a play in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets during game four in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters

With Phoenix playing the first 2 games at home, they will look to their crowd to give them energy and come out of the gates swinging, against a Clippers team with all the confidence in the world.

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Will these rivalries see the teams push boundaries in terms of trash talk and taunting? Will these rivalries and a ticket to their first NBA Finals push Booker and George to throw the hay-makers at each other in an epic battle? What have Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams got in store for each other?

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Nikhil Naik

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