Paul George may have had an ugly ending to his time with the Indiana Pacers but his legacy will always be one of the franchise’s best. Now with the Clippers, George is leading his team to an impressive comeback in the Western Conference Semifinals. Despite no Kawhi Leonard at the moment, the Clippers have found success with George leading the way.
Kawhi Leonard is out for the time being as he deals with a knee injury and while the jokes about Paul George have been funny, they have also been unwarranted at times. Paul George carried the Pacers when he was the lone star and took LeBron James and the Heat to Game 7. He’s always been capable of being the guy.
Paul George is playing like he’s back with the Indiana Pacers
In Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, George carried the Clippers to an important victory to take a 3-2 series lead. He scored 37 points on 12-22 shooting and added 16 assists in 40 minutes of action. Some other Clippers stepped up to mask the loss of Leonard but Paul George put aside the notion that he cannot be the top option.
The Clippers fell behind the Jazz after dropping the first two games of the series. In those two games, George was not nearly as impressive. He scored just 20 points in Game 1 and 27 points in Game 2 but he turned things up a notch with his back against the wall.
He followed up his slow start with a 31-point showing in Game 3 that included a staggering 6-10 from three-point range in 38 minutes. Game 4 was another 31-point performance as the Clippers tied up the series and George began to really heat up.
Whether you hate the way Paul George left the Pacers or not, you cannot look past the fact that he was a superstar in Indy. He earned respect around the league as a two-way threat that was not afraid of any challenge and seeing him succeed in the West is still exciting.
Sure, his exit from Indiana was a mess and his constant remarks about the team get tiring but Paul George brought the Pacers closer to an NBA Championship than anyone else in the last two decades.
I’ll certainly be watching the Clippers continue their playoff run and hope George can win himself a ring after all the drama. He still holds a special place in the hearts of many Pacers fans for good reason. If he can carry the Clippers to a title, especially with Kawhi sidelined, we will all be forced to remember how special he was in Indiana.