Paul George got the bag on Sunday night, scoring 36 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Utah Jazz 116-108 in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series. We live in the microwave age. Instant legends, instant nicknames, instant fame, and now somebody came up with the name Playoff P to describe Georges offensive explosion.
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George set an Oklahoma City playoff record with eight 3-pointers, blowing past the previous record of five. He made eight of 11 shots from trey land and 13 of 20 shots overall. It was his first playoff game with the Thunder since being acquired in a trade with the Indiana Pacers in the offseason.
The man previously known as PG-13 had played 65 games in the playoffs and is averaging 19.0 ppg but shooting just 42.3 % from the field and 36.6 % from three-point land, so he has an extensive playoff resume and has never been considered a dominant postseason performer.
Nicknames are all the rage these days, but Georges teams Russell Westbrook (29 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists) and Carmelo Anthony (15 points) got a kick out of hearing a reporter refer to George as Playoff P.
Russ and Melo weren’t big fans of Paul George’s “Playoff P” nickname. https://t.co/Cq26cPQNPQ
Just an example of how the media and fans create their own heroes and how things are much different behind closed doors in the locker room. George is a heck of a player but hes done nothing to constitute a nickname that ties him to playoff success. They called Reggie Jackson “Mr. October” because he was killer clutch in the playoffs and hit four homers in four consecutive at bats in the World Series which would be the equivalent of four straight 50 point games in an NBA finals series.
They called Derek Jeter Mr. “November” because he shined in the playoffs and contributed to myriad Yankees championships. His leadership was undeniable and he was generally considered the best player on the field. They called Robert Horry “Big Shot Bob” because he won seven NBA championships and hit some huge shots to help his teams accomplish those goals.
Big Shot Bob!
If George wants his teammates to refer to him as Playoff P, hes got to do a lot more to earn that moniker.