Perhaps the player whose reputation took a bigger hit this season was Paul George, as he was far from his best since the restart of the campaign and his never-ending struggles in the playoffs showed up in a big way when the Los Angeles Clippers blew a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Paul George became infamous around the league for calling himself ‘Playoff P’ and then being a massive no-show more often than not. He struggled with his shot, couldn’t stay on the court with foul trouble, and made some avoidable mistakes down the stretch.
However, ESPN’s Zach Lowe believes that people shouldn’t sleep on Paul George and predicted that he’ll come back better than ever next season after his reputation took that major blow:
“I’m predicting a Paul George vengeance tour next season. The guy was a top-five MVP finisher last season. He’s gonna come back strong next season,” Lowe said.
George earned some detractors for his comments dissing the Portland Trail Blazers and posts on social media claiming that he didn’t care what people thought about him, as he couldn’t back up the talk in the hardwood and once again underperformed when it mattered the most despite being fully healthy.
Also, the Clippers gave up a lot of future assets to pair him with Kawhi Leonard, so he was obviously asked to step up big time and that just didn’t happen.
Then again, Lowe’s got a valid point. We’re talking about one of the best two-way players in the league and a guy that’s able to make a huge impact every time he’s out there. Hopefully, he’s right and George will put on a show next season.