Paul George has officially become a meme. The ridiculously skilled 2-way superstar finds himself in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons in wake of his 3 straight stinkers. Not only did George play like he had COVID-19, but it seems that his own nickname is in danger of being confiscated by the NBA Twitter police.
George self-proclaimed himself as “Playoff P” in 2018. It was a corny decision to begin with. And when you take into account that he hasn’t made it out of the first round since 2014, the memes seem justified.
Sir Charles Barkley couldn’t help but hop in on the fun:
So was this string of historically bad performances just bad luck like George thinks it was? Or do we have to start a dialogue?
Since crowning himself as a playoff tyrant, his numbers haven’t seen a noticeable dropoff once the games begin to matter. However, he isn’t a stranger to putting up uncharacteristic performances in crucial situations.
In the 2018 playoffs, the Thunder were on the brink of elimination even after a couple great “Playoff P” performances. He responded with one of the worst shooting displays in his entire career. George scored five points on 13 percent from the field in Game 7 against Utah.
In his lone playoff series the next season, George did not put up any outlier performances reminiscent of ‘18’s close out game. However, he did shoot less than 39 percent from the field in three of his five games.
Maybe George really should think about giving himself a new nickname. If he continues to fail to live up to his superstar expectations, the roast session will never end.
However, counting out a player of George‘s magnitude might prove to be unwise. If he can somehow use this negative energy as one big chip on his shoulder, we might finally see Playoff P’s full potential. This obviously wouldn’t bode well for the rest of the league.
The Clippers will need George to put these performances behind him like he did in Game 5. There is a long playoff road ahead, and it is absolutely unacceptable for George to underachieve on the court. Ironically, the fate of LA’s sister team relies on the shoulders of Paul George.