Paul George conquering ‘honest truth’ for Clippers in NBA playoffs

Is Playoff P right here to remain?

While that continues to be to be seen, Paul George, proper now, is having arguably the most effective postseason efficiency of his profession.

The Clippers ahead silenced critics when he put on a clinic in L.A.’s Game 5 win on Monday night time, scoring a playoff career-high 41 factors — 30 of which got here on 10-for-12 capturing in the second half alone to go along with 13 rebounds and 6 assists.

George, main the best way with Kawhi Leonard injured, propelled the Clips to a 116-102 win to slash the Suns’ convention finals collection result in 3-2. Game 6 is Wednesday in Los Angeles.

The 31-year-old turned the fourth participant in Clippers historical past with a 40-point playoff sport. He joins an elite group in Kawhi Leonard, Elton Brand and Bob McAdoo. George leads all NBA gamers this postseason in factors and minutes performed.

George has been criticized for tough playoff performances – together with in Game 2 of the Clippers’ present collection when he missed two crucial late free throws. Teammate DeMarcus Cousins known as the criticism “foolish” Monday night time, and George himself believes he will get singled out greater than different stars.

“And it’s the honest truth. It’s a fact,” George instructed reporters after Monday’s sport. “But I can’t worry about that. It comes with the job, I guess. … I still try to go and dominate. … And so I’m beyond that, you know what I mean. I am who I am. I wish I could shoot 80%, 75%, on a nightly basis, but it’s not realistic.”

Paul George Clippers Suns NBA playoffs
Paul George through the Clippers’ Game 5 win over the Suns on June 28, 2021.
NBAE by way of Getty Images

George is lastly having his well-deserved second underneath the playoff highlight following a postseason droop in the 2020 NBA Bubble — when it appeared as if Playoff P was gone for good.

The moniker is one thing George made up himself in 2018, when his then-Thunder staff confronted the Jazz in the playoffs. At the time, George staked his declare on guarding rookie Donovan Mitchell, who on the time was rising star in Utah.

George later defined to reporters that his on-court alter ego is a “fun guy to watch.” He described Playoff P as “out-of-body person where I just lock in and put myself in a different zone.”

That is the model of George who’s been displaying up in the present postseason, particularly in the convention finals. And these days he’s been doing it with out fellow star Leonard, who has but to play a sport in the convention finals as a consequence of a proper knee sprain he suffered in Game 4 of the second-round Jazz collection. The 29-year-old hasn’t traveled with the staff as of late and has been receiving remedy in L.A. Leonard’s standing for Game 6 is up in the air.

The seven-time All-Star has saved his staff afloat — one thing many doubted he might do after being labeled “Pandemic P,” following his lackluster bubble efficiency.

Paul George NBA playoffs Clippers Suns
Paul George (#13) celebrating through the Clippers’ Game 5 win over the Suns on June 28, 2021.
Los Angeles Times by way of Getty Imag

After the Clippers fell to the Nuggets in Game 7, blowing a 3-1 lead in the postseason for the second time in the final six seasons, George was known as “soft” amongst different issues by followers and even different gamers across the league.

George later revealed he was in a “dark place” whereas remoted in the NBA bubble on the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Players had been required to reside underneath strict well being and security mandates that included every day coronavirus testing, deliberate meals and extra guidelines. George opened up about experiencing nervousness and despair throughout that point.

Still, critics didn’t let up.

While reflecting on the bubble expertise in January after a sport in opposition to the Suns, George admitted, “I had a troublesome yr final yr. People suppose it’s candy, man, individuals suppose it’s candy as a result of I used to be down. I didn’t hear none of this in my 10 years in the league, however individuals residing on that final yr.

“And I got to answer that. I’m ready to compete. I’m back.”

George does certainly look like he’s again.

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