Phoenix Suns: 3 Los Angeles Clippers Still Crucial to Shut Down

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns must slow down Paul George

With Kawhi Leonard still injured and his return for this series in grave question, Paul George resides as the only “superstar” still active for the Clippers. Although he absolutely blew Game 2 with his missed free-throws, Paul still averages 30.0 points, 5.5 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game against the Suns this series. He also went toe-to-toe with Devin Booker down the stretch, showing off the talent he still possesses even amidst his shortcomings.

As the central pillar under his team’s offense, no Clipper averages more touches per game than George, nor does anyone else possess the ball more often than him. Furthermore, not one single playoff participant has been featured in more offensive possessions for their team than PG13 since Leonard’s injury.

He also shot 41.0 percent from deep during said games without Leonard, until last night at least, when the Suns seemingly dodged a bullet as George went 1-8 on threes. Still though, George rarely shows any hesitation before letting it fly, averaging the eighth most 3-point attempts per game this postseason.

With the Suns game-planning around a paint-based offensive attack, having already outscored the Clippers there this series 114-64, the 3-pointer seems like LA’s best chance to hang with the Suns despite their depleted offense. Once finding his range, Paul becomes a serious threat to hurt Phoenix, as we all know 3-pointers count more than dunks and layups.

As this team’s clear backbone and with an ability to eclipse Phoenix’s offense if shooting well, stalling out George’s production seems like the most cut and dry way to silence the Clippers.