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With arms folded, P.J. Washington’s pose goes viral

It all happened so fast for Dallas Mavericks forward P.J. Washington.P.J.

One minute he was striking an intimidating pose seen around the world. And the next minute he had reached celebrity status after there were T-shirts being made with said pose.

All of this came about when, following a brief skirmish last Friday during Game 3 of the Mavs’ best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, Washington stood on the court with his arms folded and stared at the Clippers’ bench with a menacing look on his face. The crowd at American Airlines Center went wild, the pose has gone viral on social media, and now T-shirts have been made to mark the occasion.

Washington has been, to say the least, surprised by the reaction.

P.J.“When I did it I didn’t expect it to be how it is now,” he said. “I mean, it is what it is.

“For me, I’m just out there trying to have fun playing basketball and do what I can to help my team. But yeah, I definitely didn’t expect it to be this much.”

It’s that much, and a whole lot more. Even during a timeout this past Sunday during Game 4, several fans were striking the pose on the AAC Jumbotron.

“I think it’s all funny,” Washington said. “My phone is still blowing up about it.

“Everybody is putting me in stories and just mentioning me everywhere. It’s just fun and it’s part of the game for me, and I just love to go out there and show my emotions.”P.J.

Coach Jason Kidd had some fun when discussing Washington’s pose.

“I thought he was with Run-DMC for a minute,” Kidd said, referring to a popular hip hop group from the 1980s and ‘90s. “I didn’t know what to do.

“I expected someone was going to come out and start break dancing.”

Kidd added that Washington’s pose was: “A sign of strength, for sure. And P.J. has that. Run-DMC has to be somewhere around that.”

When asked after Tuesday’s practice if he was familiar with Run-DMC, the 25-year old Washington smiled and said: “Yeah, for sure. My parents used P.Jto listen to them back in the day.”

Of course, the Clippers took note of Washington’s now popular pose. Clippers forward Paul George was even duplicating Washington’s pose during LA’s 116-111 Game 4 victory.

“It’s just part of the playoffs,” Washington said. “If you do stuff you’ve got to be able to watch them do it as well.

“For me it’s about the next game mentality, and I’m just happy to be out there to contribute to my team.”

The Mavs and Clippers are tied 2-2 in their best-of-seven series with Game 5 set for Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Arena in Los Angeles. Game 6 is Friday at 8:30 p.m. at AAC, and a seventh game, if necessary, will be back in LA on Sunday.

As the Mavs prepare to try and redeem themselves after dropping Game 4 at home, Washington acknowledged that it means the world to him that hisP.J. teammates have his back. Especially when several of them came to his defense during Friday’s memorable skirmish.

“Obviously, having a group of guys like this and being able to go out there and fight for them, and they fight for us as well (is great),” Washington said. “For them to be able to have my back makes me be a happy teammate, and I just feel good about it.”

And although the Mavs lost Game 4, Washington is happy they fought back and eventually took a one-point lead after they fell behind, 55-24, midway through the second quarter. He feels that “comeback” will supply them with some added momentum going into Game 5.

“First, we always feel like we can win no matter how many points we are down,” Washington said. “So first, just continue to fight and just stick to what we know and what we do best.

“Personally, I think when we get out and run we’re a whole different team, and I thought we did a great job of that in the second half. We got downhill and made plays for others, and then defensively we were great, too.”

Washington also thinks it’s great that the two off days between Games 4 and 5 gives the Mavs an extra day to heal some bumps and bruises.

P.J.“It’s more time to prepare, more time to get what you need – get treatment, get settled in, get film,” he said. “Whatever you need to do to get better and prepare for the next game, I feel like having an extra day (off) is great for us.”

As far as the strike a pose T-shirts go, Washington said he doesn’t have one yet.

“Everybody’s been telling me I need to put it on a shirt, but I haven’t been focused on it,” he said. “For me, I’m just trying to go out there and have fun.”

CHASE OFF THE THREE-POINT LINE: In order to increase their chances of winning this series, the Mavs know they have to do a better job of chasing the Clippers off the three-point line.

When the Clippers won Game 1, they were 18-of-36 from the three-point line. And when they won Game 4, they were 18-of-29 from downtown.

Conversely, when the Mavs won Game 2, the Clippers were just 8-of-30 from behind the three-point arc. And when the Mavs won Game 3, the Clippers were only 10-of-29 from downtown.LeBron

Coach Jason Kidd said: “I think looking at Game 2 and 3 and just being able to understand their threes are important for them, we’ve got to do a better job, especially early in the game.”

Forward P.J. Washington pointed out that the Clippers had too many “easy walk-up threes” that put the Mavs back on their heels. He also said the Mavs need to “force them to take contested twos and just not let them get going from beyond the arc. Obviously, they’re a great shooting team, so for us we’ve got to keep them inside (the three-point line).”

FUTURE HALL OF FAMERS AT HOME: How tough is the competition in the Western Conference?

Future Hall of Fame players LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Anthony Davis (Lakers), Kevin Durant (Phoenix), Devin Booker (Phoenix), Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Klay Thompson (Golden State) combined to win just one playoff game this season. And their 2023-24 season has already ended.

“The West is tough,” coach Jason Kidd said. “You look at Denver, they were in a dogfight with the Lakers. And the Lakers led at halftime of every game and came up short.

“There’s a lot of goLukaod teams — not just individual players. But there’s a lot of good teams in the Western Conference.”

Forward P.J. Washington said he’s not really worried about the All-Star players who have been eliminated from playoff contention.

“At the end of the day I’m only worried about the Mavericks,” Washington said. “For us, it’s all about us and who’s in front of us right now, and that’s the Clippers.

“LeBron, KD and Curry, those are all great players, but I’m not worried about them. The Mavs are doing good and that’s all I’m focused on. Everybody else is everybody else.”

BRIEFLY: Mavs point guard Luka Dončić (sprained right knee) is listed as probable for Game 5, forward Olivier Maxence-Prosper (left ankle sprain) is out, and guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (right ankle sprain) is questionable. Coach Jason Kidd said Dončić was able to do “everything” in Tuesday’s practice. He also said Hardaway had a setback Tuesday and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday to determine if he’ll be able to play in Game 5. . .The Clippers have ruled forward Kawhi Leonard out of Game 5 due to inflammation in his right knee. The Clippers won Games 1 and 4 in this series when Leonard did not play. The Mavs won Games 2 and 3 when Leonard did play. . .No one with the Mavs were satisfied with the slow start in Game 4 when Dallas fell behind, 39-16, after the first quarter and trailed by as many as 31 points in the second quarter. After the Mavs took Monday off, that slow start was the focus on Tuesday. “There were a bunch of things on film that we needed to clean up,” forward P.J. Washington said. “I think we had a good meeting today and went through a bunch of things we need to do better.”

X: @DwainPrice

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