Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose had a lot to say about LA Clippers forward Paul George and his public perception for the upcoming postseason.
Rose would add that if George plays well in the postseason, he’ll reclaim his nickname of “Playoff P,” but if he performs poorly, he will be deemed “Pandemic P.”
This somewhat distasteful nickname originated back in the 2020 playoffs, which took place in the NBA bubble in Orlando. It cannot be denied that George struggled mightily, shooting just 39.8% from the field over the course of the postseason. The struggles culminated with the Clippers blowing a 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets in the second round, losing in embarrassing fashion in a game 7 in which George infamously attempted a three that hit the side of the backboard. George has been the subject of criticism since.
Rose is not the first media member to point out the pressure that has been placed on George. Despite what he said after their postseason disappointment, a title is the goal for the Clippers, and anything less would be a disappointment. Kawhi Leonard has already proven that he can will a team to a title given a talented surrounding cast, and George is probably the most decorated star Leonard has ever played with outside of Tim Duncan.
Depending on health, the Western Conference might turn out to be even more of a gauntlet in the playoffs than last season. George has played well during the regular season despite his shooting numbers falling off a bit as of late, but this success needs to transfer over to the postseason if the Clippers hope to make it to the Finals. While “Pandemic P” might be a bit too much, criticism will be warranted if George struggles yet again.