Who is Playoff P. you ask?
Playoff P. is who Paul George says he becomes when the month of April comes around and until Sunday Oklahoma City Thunder fans didn’t know who Playoff P. was George warned us though.
Paul George on taking on the primary defensive role while still maintaining his offense: “Y’all ain’t met Playoff P yet, huh?” pic.twitter.com/0DkXtAFtb5
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 14, 2018
Against the Utah Jazz in game one of the playoffs, George was white hot finishing the game 36 points on 65 percent shooting while also going 8-of-11 from three-point range that was just on the offensive side of the ball on the defensive end George shut down Jazz weapon Joe Ingles who scored 13 points on nine shots. George was simply fantastic for the Thunder after going through a post All-Star shooting slump it was a relief for Thunder fans to see George hitting his shots especially when it mattered.
Playoff P is a real thing as we saw against the Jazz. Playoff P isn’t a new thing for George though George has had some big playoff moments under the brightest lights against the best players this game has to offer. For two years straight George and his former Indiana Pacers made it to the Eastern Conference Championship game only to be met by the legendary Miami Heat team that had the famous big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. In the two series against the Heat George announced himself to the world with his battles with James.
In George’s last season with the Pacers, he was eliminated by his playoff nemesis LeBron James, this time James was back with his former team the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the result was the same for George as he and the Pacers fell to James again this time in four straight games. George averaged 28 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.8 steals for the series shooting at 38.6 percent from the field and 42.8 percent from three-point range. It was George’s best offensive playoff performance he has had in his career. Unfortunately, James and the Cavaliers had too much firepower for George and George was fighting alone as the Pacers weren’t a strong side.
So now Playoff P has arrived in Oklahoma City with a bang can Thunder fans expect this every game? No. From a shooting and offensive perspective no you shouldn’t expect this kind of performance every night out. But George’s effort on the defensive side of the ball is something you should buy stock in and count on because George has shown that even when his offensive game is struggling, he will make a difference with his defense. And now he is playing along Russell Westbrook there isn’t such a reliance on him to score 30 points a night while also shutting down the best player on the opposition team. Playoff P has a partner alongside him now that will take care of the offensive part of the game when he can’t find his shot for a game or two as long as Playoff P shows up every night on defense the Oklahoma City Thunder and its fans are going to love having Playoff P around.
So who is Playoff P? Playoff P is an elite defender that can shut down the best player on the opposition while also giving you 30 points on offense sound like someone you want to keep around? I sure would.