Why Paul George is Known as ‘Playoff P’

Published 06/28/2021, 5:30 PM EDT


The Los Angeles Clippers are fighting to stay alive in the NBA playoffs as they see themselves down 3-1 to the Phoenix Suns. Without their premier star Kawhi Leonard, all the pressure is on Paul George. The 31 year old has been overlooked since the bubble season as he played poorly in the playoffs. But, he has surely gone on a path to redeem himself this season.

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Most analysts termed Paul George as “Pandemic P” after just one bad season. However, George has made reminded everyone of his talent during these playoffs.

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How did Paul George become “Playoff P”

The origin of the name “Playoff P” came in 2018 when Paul George was asked about guarding Utah Jazz rookie, Donovan Mitchell. And, to that Paul George replied and said, “Y’all ain’t met Playoff P yet, huh?”. So, the context of the name was to guard Donovan Mitchell but it went on to become much more.

Following his comments Paul George scored 36 points in game 1 against the Utah Jazz. H shot 13-20 from the field and 8-11 from deep. Then teammate Carmelo Anthony said “I thought that you guys gave him that name, I found out this morning he named himself that. So …”. 

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Game 2 didn’t go well for Paul George as he ended up with 18 points, shooting 6-21 from the field. Post game George made it clear that he didn’t feel stressed as he isn’t trying to live up to that name. However, it is evident that the name stuck with him.

Paul George Post Season History

George was first recognized as a big time player from his battles against the Miami’s big 3 in the playoffs. While playing for the Pacers, George was a local hero and the primary scorer on that team. He guided them to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Heat.

George then went to OKC to join Russell Westbrook. George probably played his best basketball at Oklahoma. He finished third in both MVP and DPOY votings. However, in the playoffs the duo of Westbrook and George couldn’t make it out of the first round. George averaged 28 points on 43% shooting in the playoffs in his final year at OKC.

George had been great in the playoffs playing dominant two-way basketball but, that would often be followed by a shooting slump in the very next game. The 31 year old moved to the Clippers in 2019, and joined forces with “The Klaw” Kawhi Leonard.

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George’s first playoff run with the Clippers would be his worst nightmare. He averaged 20 points on 39% shooting, evidently his worst playoff season. The Clippers blew a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets, with George being blamed extensively. He pointed out that he underestimated mental health, saying, “I had anxiety. A little bit of depression. Just being locked in here. I just wasn’t there. I checked out.” 

This season, Paul George has proved that he is still an elite two-way player, and has led the Clippers in the absence of Kawhi. He is slowing burying the name “Pandemic P”.

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WATCH THIS STORY-  Paul George missing clutch free throws, Chris Paul’s Masterclass, other LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns WCF game 4 highlights

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Anuj Talwalkar

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