Shortly before the return was officially announced, the Los Angeles Clippers coaching staff cheered on Paul George.
The Clippers came within minutes of consolidating a 116-102 victory over the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on Monday, and the repercussions went beyond ending the Suns 3-2 streak and forcing a Game 6 in Los Angeles on Wednesday. George finished his career with 41 points in the postseason shooting 15 of 20 off the field, 3 of 6 from 3-point range and 8 of 8 from the free throw line along with 13 rebounds and six assists in 41 minutes.
So Clippers coach Tyronn Lue and his assistants hugged George with swabs and words of encouragement.
Lots of MF and beep this and beep that, George mused.
So Lue respectfully refused to give George his message, presumably to keep these conversations private. Still, Lue spilled something on his hand, addressing the years of criticism George voiced over last season’s playoff fights and the occasional setbacks during that postseason rollercoaster.
“I just don’t understand why he’s gotten so close when he’s not playing well or having a bad game,” Lue said. “A lot of people play badly. I’m glad he came back and played a great game. ”
George became the first player in NBA history to score at least 40 points on at least 75% shooting, 13 rebounds and six assists in a playoff game, according to Elias Sports Bureau. He was established in the Clippers record books as the fourth player in franchise history to achieve a 40-point postseason performance. And George is just 12 days away from a 37-point performance against the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, two points below his previous playoff record.
Still, George has still been skeptical and critical of his game since their postseason struggles last year. After Phoenix defeated Clippers Game 4, the controls were adjusted again. Then George shot just 5 of 20 off the field and 1 of 9 outside of 3-point range. He also missed a crucial free throw as the Clippers trailed 81-78, 6.3 seconds behind. The TV show caught Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, who shook his head after George’s failure and looked at him disappointed. In Game 2, George also missed a pair of free throws before the Suns won the game to Inbound praise from Deandre Ayton.
“I don’t know where this trolling came from, the way the Internet controls the narrative of these players,” Clippers center DeMarcus Cousins said. “He is going to be a stupid man. This is one of the most extraordinary players to ever wear his shoelaces. Give this guy his flowers, man. I don’t understand the slander. He’s getting pretty dumb now. He respects these players, man. He respects these sizes. ”
The cousins could be exaggerating. George has been criticized for his poor performance in the NBA bubble. His free throw fights in Games 2 and 4 contributed to the Clippers’ losses. Still, George observed that “it is the honest truth” and “it is a fact” that he scrutinized his bad play more closely than anyone else.
“I can’t worry about it,” George said. “That comes with work, I think. But it is what it is. I keep trying to walk and dominate whether I shoot the ball well or not. I’m still trying to dominate, just the whole game in general. ”
George did. Once again, George helped the Clippers in a high-stakes playoff game. Once again, George helped the Clippers absorb Kawhi Leonard’s absence as he tended to an injured right knee for the seventh straight game. Once again, George helped the Clippers adjust to a new illness in which center Ivica Zubac was sidelined with a right knee injury.
The Clippers also credited Reggie Jackson (23 points), Marcus Morris Sr. (22) and Cousins (15) for a promising lead early in the first quarter (18-5, 7-28 before halftime) at half time (59 °: 52) to ensure. , after the third quarter (91-78) and until the last ring. But most of the attention was paid to George, given his stature and the attention paid to him by the suns.
“That’s what great players do,” Lue said. “You always jump back. When you have a difficult game, you always play well. ”
In George’s case, he has shown remarkable resistance for two reasons.
First, he has discarded slow achievements and has shown a great ability to forget them quickly. Although some fans are Georges Reak