It is wild how much can change with three days in the NBA.
Let’s begin with Chris Paul being out ‘indefinitely’ after being placed in the NBA health and safety protocol. Or how about Kawhi Leonard, who could miss the rest of the series against the Utah Jazz thanks to a non-contact knee injury. Or what about Kevin Durant showcasing who’s the best player in the world after taking over Game 5 against the Bucks.
But throughout this turmoil, the old Playoff P or Paul George from the LA Clippers had surprisingly surfaced in a time when the team desperately needed him to perform. With the Clippers tied 2-2 with the Utah Jazz and Kawhi Leonard out, George led the Clippers to a 119-111 Game 5 win in Utah with 37 points, 16 rebounds, and five assists on 12 of 22 shooting.
Paul George delivered precisely what was needed to move the LA Clippers one step closer to their first Conference Finals berth. “It was no secret,” George said of what he had to do without Leonard. “I knew I had to be big tonight and got to be big going forward.”
The most significant difference in this game was George’s shooting. He made the shots throughout the game when a superstar player should. And compared to last year in the bubble during Game 7, George shot 4-of-16 for 10 points. If he can stay focused and continue to be in that old Pacers mentality, the Clippers might make history without Kawhi Leonard on the floor.
Catch you Monday.