With Kawhi Leonard out, Paul George should step up for the Clippers as Kevin Durant did for the Nets

Paul George with Clippers coach Tyronn Lue.

Paul George with Clippers coach Tyronn Lue.
Photo: AP

The NBA playoffs have been a brutal usury war, with almost every team left in the deal dealing with injuries to stellar players. The Los Angeles Clippers are no different – Kawhi Leonard has had an ACL injury and is out indefinite. Much like Kevin Durant was thrown into the fight without Kyrie Irving, Paul George will face a similar situation.

Remember Paul George? A 20.2-point career per small striker game has boosted his game recently, especially in these playoffs.

During the last three games, he has recorded 27, 31 and 31 points. He took his game to new heights, performing at the highest level when his team needed it most. The Clippers began their semifinal series with the Utah Jazz dropping their first two games, but they managed to pull it off as well.

This series has many stars. On the opposite side, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert showed up early, putting their stamp on this series. Mitchell scored 45 points for the Clippers in Game 1 and 37 in Game 2, a game that also saw Gobert carry on 20 rebounds.

In Game 3, George put it together. His defense was improved, his score was there, and he played the role of playmaker and facilitator, adding five assists to his 31 points.

“We’re fueled by that,” Nicolas Batum said of George’s Game 3 performance. “He had 20 points in the first half. He had great shots, he was confident attacking the board. Defensively, he was also great. He talked to everyone during timeouts in court. So when PG plays like that, it makes the game easier for him. the team “.

George, as talented as he is, has never led a team to the NBA Finals, and has never been to a Conference Finals since taking the Indiana Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals against to the Miami Heat in 2014, a series they lost in six games. If he is to make his first appearance in the NBA Finals, he will have to do so as the No. 1 seed of his team.

As George goes, so do the Clippers.

The situation reflects that of historian Kevin Durant showing up last night – it’s Game 5 of a linked series and a superstar teammate has been ruled out. Durant responded in legendary fashion. Tonight, George has the opportunity to do the same, and to add to his legacy.

Yesterday, George said “I don’t watch the minutes.” If I could, I would play all 48 ”.

Without Kawhi Leonard, I could be right.

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