Paul George on the benefits of being the road team after Clippers steal Game 1 from the Phoenix Suns on “Podcast P with Paul George”.
We share highlights from today’s episode of “Podcast P with Paul George”, presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment, which features PG and the guys talking all things NBA Playoffs.
Taped just before the Clippers Game 1 matchup vs. the Phoenix Suns, PG shares why he’s always preferred to be the away team in playoff matchups.
Later in the episode, the guys look back on PG’s first NBA playoff experience and going head-to-head with a prime Derrick Rose, as well as some of his best and worst playoff moments including the one play he wishes he could do over.
[11:16] PG ON PREFERRING TO PLAY AWAY GAMES DURING PLAYOFFS
“I prefer – and I feel like this is a damned if I do, damned if I don’t because I obviously love playing in front of the home fans but – I think it’s something special when you’re playing in front of the opponent’s crowd. Like there’s that factor of like – you see for me, playing on the road I enjoy more because it’s all about the guys that are there. Nobody there’s for us. You know what I mean? So you’re already going with that mindset of ‘this is all we’ve got. This is what it’s about. This locker room right here.’ So that’s a lot of motivation to go into a game. And then there’s a factor of quiet in the crowd. You’re putting on a show and I have my best moments playing on the road because that’s how I looked at it. They’re there to get me out of my game. They’re trying everything in the book. They’re calling me names, you know ‘PG you suck’ hearing ‘Pandemic P’ in Phoenix and Utah. ‘Pushoff P’ in Utah, you feed off that. You love being the villain at that point. It’s the sweetest thing to be the villain, I feed off that.”
[15:23] PG ON BEING MATCHED UP WITH MVP DERRICK ROSE AND THE #1 CHICAGO BULLS IN HIS FIRST PLAYOFF SERIES
“I’m not going to lie. At the end of the season I started to start because we got rid of Jim O’Brien and Frank Vogel took over probably 60 games into the season. So Frank took over and I started playing more toward the end of the year. So that was the time I really started playing. I remember playoffs we’re going over schemes, matchups, who’s guarding who, and they go, you know, Roy [Hibbert] you go so-and-so – you got Joakim [Noah]– D-West [David West], you got [Carlos] Boozer…they’re going through the matchups, they’re going through everybody and they’re like ‘Ok P, you got D-Rose [Derrick Rose] Rose.’ Wait what!? I just started playing. This is my first – like y’all trust me guarding the MVP?”
[16:56] PG ON THE CHALLENGES OF GUARDING DERRICK ROSE AT THE HEIGHT OF HIS CHICAGO BULLS RUN
“They’re like yeah you got D[errick] Rose, so I’m like ‘Alright bet. I’ll take the challenge.’ You know what I mean? It was crazy matching up with him and seeing him in front of me because I’m not going to lie, that year bro he was untouchable. He was untouchable. He looked like he was bigger than what he was. He looked like he was taller than what he was. He just had a stature that was bigger than what he was. I felt I played good against him and I look at the box score: 40. Goddamn I thought I was on his shit today. I had some good moments. Some games I made it tough for him. But from that series I learned a lot and to be honest that series took me deep in my career in terms of, if I can guard him, I can guard anybody.”
[25:17] PG ON HIS FAVORITE PLAYOFF WIN
“I think my favorite win was getting past Utah when Kawhi [Leonard] went down. I think that was my favorite win. Getting over the hump and getting to the Western Conference Finals. At that point they ruled us out. ‘Kawhi’s hurt, Kawhi’s done.’ We didn’t know the timetable of his injury or when he would come back. It was fresh. They didn’t expect us to get out of that at that point. So, for us, that team rallied together and we rallied so well. It was just a beautiful thing how we just collectively came together and got passed Utah and ended up playing Phoenix.”
[27:52] PG ON A PLAYOFF MOMENT THAT STILL HAUNTS HIM
“The moment that I wish I could take back and it still haunts me to this day is the 2013 year in Miami, when we [lost] game one. I fucked the play up. I’m guarding [Le]Bron [James] we’re up, a stop and we win the game and it just happened so fast I’m guarding Bron, the ball’s sideout out of bounds. He zippers up fast as hell so I’m like ‘Shit, like I gotta catch up to this’ so I over pursue, he catches it like he read where I was at, spin right off me and he lays it up for the game.”