Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George expressed confidence ahead of his expected matchup with Utah Jazz rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell in the first round of the 2018 NBA playoffs.
On Saturday, Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript provided comments from George about his alter ego, “Playoff P:”
Paul George on guarding Donovan Mitchell: “Y’all ain’t net Playoff P yet, huh? …It’s a fun guy to watch. It’s an out-of-body person.” https://t.co/tL0rc8LEw7
George owns 65 games of postseason experience from his time with the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 19.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game in those contests.
The five-time All-Star’s most important task against the Jazz could be trying to slow Mitchell, who emerged as a Rookie of the Year candidate after he was selected 13th overall in the June draft.
The University of Louisville product averaged 20.7 points, 3.7 assists and 2.7 boards while shooting 53.3 percent from the field in three games against the Thunder during the regular season.
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Mitchell struggled Wednesday night, making just six of his 23 shots from the field, including one of eight from three-point range, in a loss at the Portland Trail Blazers. He forced a lot of questionable shots against a defense clearly aimed at slowing him down.
“I didn’t respond well,” he told reporters. “I’m upset with myself for that. But I’m over it, and I have to realize that this is how it’s going to be. This was my first test. I think it was better to have it in Game 82 than to have it in game one or two of the playoffs.”
George and the Thunder figure to mimic the Blazers’ tactics as they attempt to keep the Jazz’s leading scorer off balance in what should be a competitive series.