Paul George is the featured play as we break down one of our favorite player props for Suns Clippers Game 5.
The seven-time NBA All Star has done some heavy lifting in the playoffs in the absence of Kawhi Leonard, but it’s also made the Clippers’ offense a little more predictable. That’s proven to be an issue against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.
I like fading George’s points tonight against Phoenix, and here’s why.
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Props for Suns Clippers Game 5
Paul George UNDER 29.5 Points (-106 FanDuel)
George got hot from beyond the arc in Game 1 of the series (7-for-15 on 3PAs) but has subsequently posted point totals of 26, 27, & 23 thanks to the Suns shifting more defensive attention his way.
Mikal Bridges in particular has been brutal on George, holding him to 4-of-15 with a 26.7% expected FG% on a lot of plays that look like this.
Mikal Bridges swats Paul George then stares him down afterwards: pic.twitter.com/nh813auP0b
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 20, 2021
And when he’s not coercing George into low percentage shots, he and the rest of the Suns’ elite defense are swarming George and forcing him to get the ball out.
It’s led to a slight dip in George’s usage rates, attempts, and a significant drop in shooting efficiency. Dropping efficiency is one thing on its own, but it’s a more telling trend when paired with an expected FG% (eFG%) that is way off George’s norm.
Phoenix is making life much harder on Geroge than any team in the playoffs so far.
His True Shooting Percentage (TS%) has also declined in every game this series, and he’s been woefully ineffective in the paint going back to the last series vs Utah.
George is still going command heavy minutes and will handle the ball a ton. He’s been excellent on the boards and on defense. In all, he’s been carrying the Clippers in this series, but points have been hard to come by.
The future Hall of Famer still has all kinds of ceiling, even in this tough matchup, and he’s going to go off sometimes.
However, between the slow pace, the low game total (O/U of 213 points), this is such a tough spot for him to exceed expectations on a median basis.
Buckle up and enjoy.