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Is Paul George A Top 20 Player In The NBA?

So back before the season started, I was thinking about Paul George. 

A man with the audacity to name himself Playoff P but who the world nicknamed Pandemic P after he continued to emotionally quarantine during the NBA bubble, shit the bed in 3 straight games blowing a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets and then proceeded to blame his struggles on Doc Rivers.  

But after Clippers fired Doc and Ty Lue took over and we saw Paul George start to I don’t know, thrive? I began to wonder, maybe it is Doc Rivers after all. And then the playoffs started, and he was up and down. Gone girl from the end of the first series into the Utah series.

And then Kawhi went down. The baton was passed to our guy Paul, and guess what? He put up a monster 41/13/6 in Game 5 of the Suns series. People began to whisper. Is PG better as a #1 option? Can he lead the Clippers all the way back and flip the script on his career? Is Playoff P going to be an unironic nickname?

Then in Game 6, poof.  Gone. Houdini disappearing act. 21/9/2 with 4 turnovers in a nearly 30 point loss. And yes, he was an iron man in the playoffs, but 

And that got me thinking about what I originally thought about PG back in December of last year when he got his MASSIVE extension from the Clippers before Kawhi ever committed long term. 

So much money. 40MM? For a guy who “poops out” in a close out game on the road? Literally nowhere to be found in the second half. Pretty much not involved to the point I wondered whether he was on the floor. That guy is getting $40 million dollars? I don’t know man. Not what I would do, in fact after that performance I doubled down. 

I said what I said. 

There are 20 other players I’d rather have on my team over Paul George for the long term. 

Of course, JacMac as usual disagrees vehemently. He thinks Paul George is a Top 10 or 12 player in the league. He also thinks Klay Thompson (before he got hurt) was NOT a Top 50 player, so take that for what you will. 

I like Paul George, the playoff run he had was incredible but for that money? I need someone that consistently shows up in crunch time like, I don’t know, Dame Lillard? Say what you want about the Blazers, the reason that they haven’t gone far in the playoffs is not because of him. That guy is worth $40MM and ALOT more. 

I think the only question is … are the MORE than 20 players that you’d rather have over Paul George?