When the Los Angeles Clippers were making their pitch to sign Kawhi Leonard, he established one strong and non-negotiable condition: Get me Paul George.
The Clippers didn't hesitate to trade away multiple assets and commit a lot of money to get that All-Star duo together, and they instantly became one of the strongest contenders out of the Western Conference.
Nonetheless, more often than not, George has failed to rise up to the occasion. He's been outstanding in the regular season but pedestrian in close-out or elimination games, and that's clearly hurt their chances.
That's why Shaquille O'Neal recently said that George is actually the most important player for the Clippers, not because he's the best but because he can elevate them when he's playing well:
“For the Clippers, Kawhi is the best player on team, but most important guy is the Playoff P. Playoff P plays like he played the other night, it will be tie," Shaq said.
George had a great Game 3 and the Clippers cut the Utah Jazz' series lead in half, so Shaq expects PG to have another strong outing if they want to even out the series:
“It’s all going to be on Playoff P’s shoulders tomorrow," O'Neal added.
Shaq has a valid point right there. Paul George is an All-NBA kind of player. He's got the potential to be an MVP and Defensive Player of the Year contender year in and year out, but his struggles in the postseason are also well-documented.
The Los Angeles Clippers have enough depth and talent and are a well-coached team, but they face a tough task ahead of them. The Utah Jazz didn't finish the season with the best record in the NBA just by chance, and you know that they're not going to go down without a fight.