“Playoff P”: Shaquille O’Neal Has Surprising Claim About Who is Clippers Most Important Player

Published 06/14/2021, 8:19 AM EDT
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


The Clippers saved themselves some embarrassment by playing their best basketball in Game 3 against the Utah Jazz. The Western Conference semifinal series now stands at 2-1 with Utah in the head lead. It’s time for Game 4 and this will be the Clippers’ only chance to make it even.

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The first two games of the Jazz-Clippers playoff series were an utter disappointment for Tyronn Lue’s team. Donovan Mitchell was all over the court making plays and the Clippers couldn’t do much about it.

However, Game 3 proved to be the best match for the team as well as for Paul George in this postseason. ‘Playoff P’ was on a mission and had 31 points and a commendable performance. And Kawhi Leonard was his usual self with 34 points to lead the scoring charts. Without a doubt, Los Angeles’ top players did the required job for the Clippers to have a chance in this series.

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Jun 12, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots while Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale (23) defends 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

Paul George will be crucial for LA Clippers

Now that Game 4 is inching closer, former Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal gave his opinion on the Clippers’ probability of tieing with Jazz. In conversation with ‘Inside NBA’ analysts, he said, “For the Clippers, Kawhi is the best player on team, but most important guy is the Playoff P. Playoff P plays like he played the other night, it will be tie.”

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Paul George has faced quite a bit of criticism for last year’s playoffs, and now it’s his time to shine. One of the most talented players on the roster, Playoff P must find a way to lead his team in these pressure times.

Until now, he has scored 20, 27, and 31 points in the first three games of this series, respectively. With a rising curve in motion, Geroge will be looking to post more points on the board in a crucial Game 4. Kawhi being a constant dominator, Shaq also added, “It’s all going to be on Playoff P’s shoulders tomorrow.”

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After a thrilling 132-106 Game 3 victory for Kawhi and his army, the next matchup is going to be a dogfight. Restricting Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert from their respective skill sets is not going to be a cakewalk. The Utah Jazz and LA Clippers are set to lock horns in an intense Game 4 battle on Monday, June 14, 2021, at 10:00 PM ET. The odds are in whose favor this time?

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Pavni Ahuja

436 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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