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Clippers’ Paul George’s playoff history a big concern for LA, claims Kendrick Perkins

Paul George, Kendrick Perkins

Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George once dubbed himself as “Playoff P”, but don’t expect to hear ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins refer to George by the title anytime soon.

As the Clippers prepare to embark on their first playoff run with Kawhi Leonard and George, Perkins thinks the veteran forward’s previous playoff shortcomings may hold the team back in their title quest. On Monday, Perkins questioned whether George can be a “certified Robin” to Leonard’s Batman.

“Let’s not act like PG doesn’t have a history of not showing up in the playoffs,” Perkins said.

Perkins called George “a stud”, but brought up Game 6 of the 2018 Western Conference First Round, when he went 2-of-16 from the field in the Thunder’s season-ending loss to the Utah Jazz. George had given himself the “Playoff P” nickname prior to the series. The 6-foot-9 forward shot just 40.8% from the field in the series,

In 2019, Oklahoma City again fell in the first round—in five games to the Portland Trail Blazers. George averaged 28.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in the series.

Perkins is alluding to George’s recent postseason shortcomings compounded by the unfortunate self-designated nickname, but he did lead the Indiana Pacers to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2013 and 2014 as he ascended to stardom. He also played extremely efficient during Indiana’s shorter postseason runs in 2016 and 2017.

Since he became a franchise player in 2013-14, George has averaged 21.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per 36 minutes in the playoffs. Those numbers basically align with his regular season per-36 averages (23.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.9 steals during that span).

George was averaging 25.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per 36 minutes in his debut campaign in L.A. The second-seeded Clippers (44-20) will resume their title quest in a matchup vs. top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers (46-18) on July 30.