Oklahoma City small forward Paul George has reinvented himself and its spectacular. His self-assigned alter ego blistered Utah for 36 points in game one of their opening round playoff series. Even more than his scoring though, he brought a different kind of swagger and energy to a squad that has struggled with consistency all season. It was a “come out of nowhere” type performance that not only introduced the world to Playoff P but also left the world wanting…no…needing more.
The Birth Of Playoff P
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
It honestly sounded like Paul George just uttered out the first words that came out of his mouth when asked about the defensive responsibilities of the playoffs and still maintaining his offensive production. Regardless, the name is out there and even his teammates are embracing it…but not without some fun.
Thunder's Carmelo Anthony & Russell Westbrook crack up at Paul George's "Playoff P" nickname pic.twitter.com/ocAU2V7BR5
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 16, 2018
The Unveiling Of Playoff P
Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double last season and yet Oklahoma City was bounced in the first round of the playoffs. Even with the addition of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George last summer, Westbrook was still able to average a triple-double this season. The problem is that Westbrook’s historic accomplishment wasn’t the only thing that this year’s team had in common with last years. They entered the playoffs having basically mirrored the 2016-17 team and that had many Thunder fans on edge…and then Playoff P showed up.
Paul George tried to warn us.
Playoff P has 31 points and is 7-10 from 3-point range heading into the fourth. pic.twitter.com/uuGfcsS2As
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) April 16, 2018
This 3-point shooting, rebound grabbing, trash-talking and Jazz stomping version of Paul George was unlike anything Oklahoma City fans had seen. He showed a glimpse of what the Thunder were getting in the playoff version of Paul George when he dropped 40 points at Memphis to close the season, but that wasn’t Playoff P, George’s new alter ego. Playoff P does it with a since of just straight up nasty about him…just ask Joe Ingles.
Paul George has some choice words for Joe Ingles 🤬🤬🤬 pic.twitter.com/Et38TnoUgo
— Sports ON Tap (@SONTSports) April 16, 2018
The Result Of Playoff P
Now that Oklahoma City has seen him, they can’t live without him. There’s no doubt that Westbrook is the alpha male on this team but the Thunder needed something else. That’s not a slide towards The Brodie at all but every Jordan needs a Pippen just like every Shaq needs a Kobe.
PAUL GEORGE IS FEELIN' IT! pic.twitter.com/TaJ7obz2It
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 16, 2018
Playoff P is exactly what the Thunder need. He’s the reason Sam Presti pulled the trigger to trade for him. He’s the reason fans were thinking NBA Finals back in August. He’s the reason the entire nation will be tuning in on Wednesday night for Game Two.
And those are the reasons Playoff P must show up for the remainder of the postseason.