I know three things that are guaranteed to happen in life from my time on this Earth.
Death. Taxes. And Paul George putting up clunkers in playoff games.
Yeah, George had a decent Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks to help the Los Angeles Clippers advance to the Western Conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz, but he quickly reminded us why his “Playoff P” nickname is one of the worst in sports with a 4-for-17 shooting performance in Game 1 last night.
George’s struggles are almost expected at this point, but the Clippers also got a terrible games out of Marcus Morris (who hit seven 3-pointers in Game 7), as he was just 4-for-14 from the field (1-for-9 from 3) and was blocked by Rudy Gobert on the game-tying shot.
WynnBET has the Clippers as +175 series underdogs after the Game 1 loss, but I don’t think they should be worried.
Utah got a fantastic performance from Donovan Mitchell in Game 1 (45 points) and while Mike Conley was out of the lineup, Los Angeles had arguably the worst game from George, Morris and Kawhi Leonard all postseason. And yet, they only lost by three.
That’s a positive in my book, but the Clippers will need to show that they can actually win games on their home floor in this series now that Utah has already won a game at home.
The Clippers also need to find a way to expose Gobert on the defensive end of the floor, and that could happen by continuing to go with a smaller lineup. Gobert is a fantastic interior defender, but the Clippers also played Ivica Zubac 20 minutes on Tuesday to match up down low.
Los Angeles has been at its best when it goes small, and Gobert isn’t a dominant enough offensive presence where there needs to be a center in the game at all times.
Right now, WynnBET has the Jazz as 3-point favorites for Thursday’s Game 2 with the Clippers as a +130 underdog on the moneyline.