Clippers' Paul George Was in a 'Dark Place'; 'The Bubble Got the Best of Me'

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 26, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers' Paul George (13) drives to the basket against Dallas Mavericks' Justin Jackson (44) during the second half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Paul George didn't have to hide the truth anymore. 

Following Tuesday's 154-111 Game 5 win against the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Clippers guard who shot 29 percent from the field in the first four games could finally explain his slump. 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

“The bubble got the best of me. I was just in a dark place. I really wasn't here, I checked out." PG opens up about a tough couple of days following a big Game 5 performance https://t.co/aV27ULdzSW

"The bubble got the best of me," George said on the court after going off for 35 points. "I was just in a dark place. I really wasn't here. I checked out for these past couple games. It was just difficult. Shoutout to the people that stood behind me. That was in my corner. ... I was just in a bad place. I found my way. I'm back." 

Tuesday was not only George's best performance of the 2020 postseason, it was also his most efficient by far. 

His 35 points came on 12-of-18 shooting from the field in which he hit 4-of-8 three-pointers. He missed two shots from 20 feet or closer and his only other misses were from behind the arc. 


😤 @Yg_Trece (35 PTS) and Kawhi Leonard (32 PTS) combine for 67 to put the @LAClippers up 3-2 vs. DAL! Game 6 ⏩ Thurs. (8/27) at 9 PM ET on ESPN https://t.co/hhtIVDenH2

It was seemingly as cathartic for George as it was entertaining to watch. 

Just how bad was George's slump?

In Games 2-4, George scored a total of 34 points on 10-of-47 from the field. He needed just 18 shots on Tuesday to surpass his amount from the past three games. The only other time George had scored more than 25 points in the series was Game 1 when he posted 27 points on 22 shots. 

Mirjam Swanson @MirjamSwanson

From the Clippers: According to Elias Sports Bureau, Paul George is the first player in the Shot Clock Era to have at least 35 points in under 25 minutes played in a postseason game.

With the guard proclaiming he's got his shot back, the Clippers may once again be the team to beat in the Western Conference—and it won't matter who is or who isn't playing against them.