‘Troops Will Follow’: Shaquille O’Neal Says Mavericks Have No Chance if Paul George Plays Like This

Published 05/31/2021, 3:52 AM EDT
Feb 21, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) is defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


The LA Clippers rallied to tie up their series with the Dallas Mavericks. The Clippers entered the series as the fourth seed, with a home-court advantage over the Mavericks. However, they were trounced in their own backyard, thanks to incredible performances from Luka Doncic and the Mavs. But since then, they came into Dallas and took two games back to tie the series. And Paul George was a big part of those two games.

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Shaquille O’Neal praises Paul George

On ‘Inside the NBA’, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal spoke about Paul George and his performance for the LA Clippers. He believes that if George continues to play in this fashion, living up to the ‘Playoff P’ nickname, the Clippers will get the win in the series. Shaq praised George’s aggression, and how he attacked the Mavericks.

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“If Paul George continues to be aggressive, first two games, sort of in a slump, played okay. But Playoff P doesn’t play okay, we need you playing playoff numbers, playoff performance type level… Not settling for jumpers, not shooting fade-aways. Didn’t have a lot of points tonight but his impact on the game. When the captain comes out in charge mode, the troops will follow… If Paul George plays like this, no.”

READ MORE: The Uncanny Resemblance Between Kawhi Leonard’s and Michael Jordan’s Play

For the Mavs, they need to try to shut down Paul George in order to stand a chance in this series.

Playoff PG is looking to have a greater impact

Paul George has played well during the series against the Mavericks. Despite a poor showing in game one, he is averaging 25 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. However, it’s his three-point shooting that has been poor. So far, he has averaged only 30.7% from beyond the arc.

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Compared to his percentage of 41.1% during the regular season, this is something he will want to improve. But his scoring has shown he is stepping up in the biggest moments, something he wasn’t doing last season.

Mar 27, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) shoots the ball during the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George will have to be immense over their next two games to ensure that there isn’t an additional third game. Given how last season ended for them, the Clippers will want to avoid a game seven situation. George will be a big key to the Clippers’ success. Can PG13 help lead the Clippers to a series win over the Mavericks?

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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