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Paul George, is that you playa?!

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What a difference the playoffs make for mercurial Paul George.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder game was so exciting to see, but coincidentally I ended up watching Martin afterwards and seeing Jerome the pimp act out, it got me to thinking:

Let me tell you something. If George continues to play like this in the playoffs, then he might get a tornado named in his honor for all the destruction he did on the court in game one of the first round against the Utah Jazz.

Playoff P!

That was a performance to be remembered. George looked like a different animal on the court. Shooting threes as efficiently and dangerously as Klay Thompson, combined with the step-back handles making defenders fall like James Harden. The buzzer beater. The signature silky smooth mid-range stroke that only George can do so well. There was a point in the game that even Russell Westbrook stood up on the sideline and literally looked shocked at this monster on the court wearing a number 13 jersey.

Westbrook’s reaction:

I know he wanted to be nicknamed PG-13, but Lord have mercy if he keeps playing like this I motion that we rename him Rated R. All in favor say aye.

George simply looked the best that he has in years.

There was this look of ferocity in his eyes as he scored 36 points, seven rebounds, while shooting 8-for-11 from 3-point land on Sunday.

He was unquestionably the best player on the court, as he led all of the Thunder in plus/minus and it could not have come at a better time considering the abysmal second half of the season that he had, dealing with shooting woes that he previously addressed as a “mechanical issue.”

Well if that’s the case, then everyone that lives in Oklahoma City needs to find the mechanic that just might have propelled the Thunder to heights that were at one point deemed improbable.

Don’t get me wrong. Statistically, George has always been able to perform well in the playoffs. We can concede that he has consistently put up decent to great numbers, but it hasn’t always translated to victories for his team, and that’s primarily because in the past, he would run into the great wall of Lebron James in the playoffs.

However, aside from the fact that he has never made this many threes in a prior playoff game, there are some undeniable intangibles at work here.

He’s never played with someone of the caliber and offensive talent that Westbrook possesses, nor the legendary scorer that Carmelo Anthony is.

Because of that, the pressure does not fall squarely on his shoulders, as it did with the Indiana Pacers. 11-time champion Bill Russell once said that “Pressure can make some guys slower, while for other guys it makes them a step faster. But for the really great players, there isn’t any pressure, you just go out and play”.

We still got games to be played in this series people, but Paul George played his heart out in game one, and for the first time since 2013, has the chance to show us that he is a really great player, and I’m here for it.

I wrote earlier this season that in order for the Thunder to capitalize and maximize the efficacy of their talented roster, George must step as one of the undisputed leaders on this team right alongside Westbrook, or this season would be considered a complete failure, and that he should never be counted on again as a star.

To analogize, the Thunder already have a bad cop in Westbrook, the Thunder primary scoring option, but the positon of good cop was vacant for most of the season until George finally stepped up Sunday night.

After the game, George was quoted as saying “I’m going to bring it to that level every night; Obviously I was hot tonight, but that’s the level I’m going to bring every night.”

Well level up then Lil Paul.

The success of the Thunder post season is contingent upon his nightly performance, and I’m here to tell you, the Thunder can beat ANYBODY when George and Westbrook are shooting like Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys.

Keep it up Paul.

The world is watching.


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