Paul George welcomes ‘Playoff P,’ ‘overrated’ chants from Jazz fans: ‘I like it’
Paul George has been dogged over the years over a penchant for underwhelming performances in the postseason, and it’s led to ridicule since he dubbed himself “Playoff P” in 2018.
To no surprise, George was taunted by the hometown fans during the Clippers’ opening game in the team’s Western Conference semifinals showdown with the Utah Jazz at Vivint Arena on Tuesday night. Chants of “Playoff P” and “Overrated” rained down on the Clippers star throughout the game.
After the Clippers’ 112-109 loss in Game 1, George opened up about hearing it from Jazz fans. In essence, George welcomes the hostile reception and says it’s part of playoff basketball.
“I like it,” George said, via ESPN. “That part doesn’t get to me. It’s all respect. I’ve had good games here and I’ve had bad games here.”
He added: “That’s part of this game, to be honest. Crowd’s going to be involved. You want that. As an opposing player, you kind of want that.”
George got off to a rough start in Tuesday’s loss, missing 12 of his first 14 shots and finishing the game 4-of-17 from the field. However, George did score 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to keep the game close to the end.
“Fact of the matter is, I didn’t shoot the ball well,” George said. “I thought I was indecisive on my approach. But I will be a little bit better on taking the shots that I want.”
As noted, George’s subpar play in the postseason is an obviously frustrating narrative for him. The Clippers star admitted as much as the team blew a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets last season in the NBA bubble while revealing he dealt with anxiety and depression amid the unorthodox situation.
George regrouped after the Clippers’ setback and said in January that he was “coming back with a vengeance” and using all the chatter about his play in the bubble as motivation heading into this season’s playoffs.
It remains to be seen how George will respond to his poor shooting night in the Clippers’ Game 1 loss. What is known is that Jazz fans will surely give him the same treatment Thursday night during Game 2. Whether George can use the mistreatment as motivation will go a long way in determining where the Clippers will sit heading into Game 3 Saturday back in L.A. at Staples Center.