Doc Rivers responds to Paul George’s latest criticism
Doc Rivers is once again defending himself after Paul George said he disliked how he was used in the former Los Angeles Clippers coach’s system.
As part of an interview with the “All The Smoke” podcast, George said Rivers tried to use him as a Ray Allen-like pin-down shooter. George felt that was not the best use of his skills, adding that he’d have done better with “some mixes of some pick-and-roll, and post ups.”
Rivers was diplomatic when asked about George’s claims, but his frustration was apparent.
“Well, that’s just Paul’s opinion,” Rivers said in an interview with ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth. “I enjoyed coaching Paul. You know, I think if you go back and look at the stats, Paul played in more pick-and-rolls this last year than he ever did in his entire career.
“So I don’t know how that’s possible, and I wouldn’t mind playing like Ray Allen if I was a player. I think Ray Allen was pretty special. But listen, that’s his opinion. I’m fine with that. The team was second in the league, I think in scoring. Scoring wasn’t a problem, you know? It was winning that was the problem.”
The statistics actually back Rivers up on this. As shared by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, George finished 33 percent of all his plays using the pick-and-roll under Rivers. That represented the highest mark of his career.
Maybe George knows that, which is why he tried to clean up his comments after the fact. Ultimately, though, the damage was done. George’s critics see him as a player who refuses to take responsibility when he comes up short, as illustrated by quotes like this one. Acting like his usage was part of the problem when the stats simply don’t reflect his assertions will only give those critics more to work with.