Paul George heard the “Playoff P” chants in Utah.
The Clippers star — who visited the line 10 times in Tuesday’s 112-109 loss to the Jazz in Game 1 of the second round — also heard the “overrated” chants with less than two minutes left in the close matchup.
“I like it,” George said about the 18,007-deep crowd that serenaded him in Salt Lake City.
“That part doesn’t get to me. It’s all respect. I’ve had good games here and I’ve had bad games here.”
George, who finished the night with 20 points, 10 rebounds and two assists, added, “That’s part of this game, to be honest. Crowd’s going to be involved. You want that. As an opposing player, you kind of want that.”
Despite claiming to be not affected by the heckling, George shot 4-for-17 overall, and knew his shooting was off. He also missed 12 of his first 14 shots.
“Fact of the matter is, I didn’t shoot the ball well,” George said. “I thought I was indecisive on my approach. But I will be a little bit better on taking the shots that I want.”
After a slow start in Game 1, George showed up when it mattered, scoring 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter.
The All-Star nearly helped the Clippers push the game to overtime when he hit a clutch 3-pointer with 38 seconds left that helped cut a nine-point Jazz lead to three.
But Utah’s Rudy Gobert had a big-time block over L.A.’s Marcus Morris Sr., who couldn’t get a 3-pointer off to send it to overtime.
The “Playoff P” chants – which were trending on Twitter – aren’t anything new in Utah.
Jazz fans have been in George’s ear since 2018, when his then Thunder team took on the Jazz in the playoffs.
While speaking to reporters ahead of the series, George expressed his desire to guard then rising Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell.
When asked about the task at hand, George said, “Y’all ain’t met Playoff P yet, huh?”
He later elaborated on his postseason alter ego and described “Playoff P” as a “fun guy to watch,” explaining, “It’s an out-of-body person where I just lock in and put myself in a different zone.”