Clippers’ Paul George questions the ‘narrative of me not being a postseason player’ after Game 6 loss to Suns

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Paul George has struggled for years with the narrative that his play declined in the postseason. His shooting numbers dipped somewhat and he has never won a championship, but he averaged almost 24 points per game over the six postseasons before the 2020-21 campaign while playing some of the best defense in basketball. He brought the Indiana Pacers within one game of the NBA Finals and went toe-to-toe with LeBron James in the process. 

But fans wouldn’t let go of a few disappointing moments. Damian Lillard hitting a series-clinching jumper over him. The Clippers blowing a 3-1 lead last postseason to the Denver Nuggets with George hitting the side of the backboard on a jumper in the process. There were jokes about his self-bestowed “Playoff P” nickname. George heard it all, and he responded with the best postseason of his career. He brought the Clippers to Game 6 of the Western Conference finals without Kawhi Leonard by his side and averaged just under 27 points per game in the process. After getting knocked out of the postseason on Wednesday, George remarked that he didn’t quite understand the idea that he struggles in the postseason. 

“The narrative of me not being a postseason player, all of that is… I never understood it,” George said. “But, you know, it’s not much. I’m the same person. I’ve dealt with stuff, as we all do. Makes me no different than the next man. It is what it is. I came up short again. I’m proud of what we did as a team. I wasn’t out to prove nothing to nobody, but to show up as a leader for this team. Put us in position to get to where we get to. Again, came up short. My good wasn’t enough. But there’s room for improvement, which is what I try to continue to push the envelope to get better going into this summer. But it’s good though. I’ll look back, I’ll reflect, I’ll see what I need to get better at. Address it right away. It’s time to start training.”

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Even if the Clippers came up short this postseason, it would be hard to argue that George is a poor postseason player now. He saved his team’s season on Monday with 41 points on 75 percent shooting. He helped the Clippers take down a No. 1 seed without their best player. The Clippers may not have won the championship, but George had to play like a champion just to give them a chance to make it this far. He did that, and even without that elusive trip to the Finals, the narrative surrounding his playoff performance has changed for good. 


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