Paul George isn’t looking like himself in the first round of the Playoffs against a Dallas Mavericks that everyone expects the Clippers to topple.
Only winning matters in the NBA for the majority of the players. They don’t care about individual accolades or awards. Those who do get these awards mean little if they don’t win the NBA championship.
Paul George is in this position right now. He was on the conversation for MVP last year. Now he has a chance to eclipse that with an NBA title. However, he doesn’t look like he’s ready to grab the opportunity.
There is something off about Paul George
Considering his playing caliber, George was only the second biggest catch of the Clippers during the offseason. Paul George plays the Robin to Kawhi’s Batman, and that’s just unfair for the entire league. He and Kawhi Leonard sent shivers down other teams’ backs when the duo signed with the Clips.
Overall, George is one of the best two-way players in the league. During his off days, he can lock down the other team’s best scorer. During his hot days, he can log an easy 40-point game and look like he didn’t even break a sweat.
Unfortunately, for the fans of the Clippers, none of these two Georges have shown up.
George is only posting a dismal 7 of 33 shots in the past two games. His three-point shooting is also off at just 3 of 18 markers. The shots given to him aren’t new to him. He’d get wide-open off-the-screen shots. He’d be given corner shots. All of these are run-of-the-mill for George.
However, he hasn’t been locked in. His defensive stats are also non-existent. George knows this, and he hears his naysayers.
Is it the Clippers’ chemistry?
In paper and reality, the Clippers are one of the most stacked teams in the NBA. Only the Lakers and the Raptors can match their firepower head-on. Unfortunately, they haven’t had the best health this season. As such, they’ve only played eight games together as a team. Out of those eight games, they won seven nonetheless.
However, this could also be the reason why George is struggling so much. The touches are there for him, but he’s been working off-the-ball most of the time. This is not saying that George is not a capable facilitator because he is one. However, having so much raw talent around him could be distracting him, especially without team chemistry.
If this is the case, he’s fortunate that Kawhi Leonard is there to pick up his slack. Also, he’s lucky that they are expected to survive the first round against the Mavs. However, the same may not be the case in the second round. Until then, when will Playoff P really surface? Maybe George is still being haunted by Lillard’s half-court shot against him?
Image from Chris Smoove/ YouTube thumbnail