Paul George may be getting a chance to run it back from his Indiana days.
Farbod Esnaashari of Sports Illustrated reported on Friday that the LA Clippers are also exploring trade options for Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill. Esnaashari notes that a potential package for Hill would likely have to involve second-round picks from the Clippers as well as expiring contracts such as Reggie Jackson or Patrick Patterson.
The 34-year-old Hill was teammates with George for five seasons on the Pacers from 2011 to 2016. While Hill has barely played for the rebuilding Thunder this season, he brings some vast playoff experience to the table. That includes numerous trips to the conference finals over the years and even a trip to the NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018.
The Clippers have already been linked to one big-name guard in trade talks. But Hill serves as a much more realistic option for them. He is an above-average playmaker, plays good defense, and has a reliable three-point shot. That could make Hill a very valuable addition for the Clippers as they pursue an NBA championship.
In an NBA season that has been full of missed games for unusual reasons, Paul George may have earned the distinction of the most bizarre one yet.
The LA Clippers star was a late scratch for Thursday’s game against the Washington Wizards with that the team called “dizziness.” Speaking with reporters on Sunday, George revealed the culprit for his sudden ailment.
“A lesson learned. I had too much caffeine,” said George, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I think it was too much caffeine at that time. It made me real jittery and sped me up. A lesson learned on that situation: never have too much caffeine too close on back-to-back [games].”
While it is unclear if George enjoyed a leisurely macchiato before the game or downed an entire can of Red Bull, his absence was a costly one regardless. The Clippers very narrowly lost to the Wizards by the final of 119-117. That dropped them to fourth in the West, whereas a win would have put them third on the cusp of second heading into the All-Star break.
George’s caffeine-related absence might seem like a first. But he is actually not the first professional athlete to fall victim to its entrancing allure.
Paul George slander is officially back on the menu after a long hiatus.
The LA Clippers star struggled in a loss on Sunday to the Milwaukee Bucks. He shot just 7-for-21 from the field and displayed very poor shot selection in crunch time as the Clippers narrowly fell by a 105-100 final score.
After the game, George received a question about the team’s lack of free throw attempts in the contest.
“That’s more of a league question,” George said, according to Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints. “I think we’ve done enough. We put enough pressure. We get contact. 19 to 11 [free throw attempts] today. I think we did enough to get some calls our way.”
George soon saw himself getting roasted on Twitter for the response.
Other users correctly pointed out that the Clippers settle for jumpers at a much higher rate than the league average this season.
It is important to be fair to George here. For one, he has otherwise been playing marvelously this season, posting 23.4 points a game on 51/47/89 shooting splits en route to his seventh career All-Star selection. For another, George was responding to the reporter’s question about the officiating and did not bring up the subject himself.
Still though, the comments came across as a bit of a tone-deaf deflection, which rubbed people the wrong way. George should probably know better at this point given his lengthy history of bad PR from his own doing.
A night after an ugly 28-point loss to Memphis, the Los Angeles Clippers turned things around and posted a 119-99 win over the Grizzlies in the second game of a back-to-back. That, apparently, is proof to one player that coach Tyronn Lue has made the team better this year.
Paul George was asked after Friday’s win what was different with Lue at the helm, and the forward immediately praised his coach for the ability to adapt and adjust during games.
It’s interesting that George cites Lue’s adjustments, because it’s something the forward has cited before as his biggest criticism of former coach Doc Rivers. Before the season started, George did not hold back in his assessment of what he saw as a shortcoming from his former coach. George apparently was not alone in feeling that way, either.
In George’s eyes, it sounds like Lue has succeeded where Rivers may have failed. It remains to be seen if that will still be the case come playoff time, which is ultimately where this team will be judged. Things do seem to be going more smoothly this year, at least in the regular season.
Paul George isn’t bothering himself with some petty criticism from Jared Dudley.
Dudley released an e-book this week to tell the story of his experience winning a championship with the Lakers in the Orlando bubble. One passage from the book got particular attention. Dudley claimed that the Lakers were bothered by talk from George last year. The Clippers saying they were the team to beat in LA bothered the Lakers. Some Lakers players felt George hadn’t earned the right to say that sort of thing.
George was asked about the matter following his Los Angeles Clippers’ win at Cleveland on Wednesday night. He took the high road and effectively said he wasn’t dropping down to Dudley’s level.
That’s a good response from Dudley. George is a six-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA player. He shouldn’t be concerned with what Dudley says.
PG was weak mentally at times in the Orlando bubble. He acknowledged that in some recent comments, and he’s already being better about not letting things bother him.
Jared Dudley is peeling back yet another layer of the Lakers-Clippers rivalry.
The Lakers veteran released a 41-page mini-book on Kindle this week to tell the story of his experience winning a championship with the team in the Orlando bubble. In the book, Dudley spoke on the rivalry with the Clippers and mentioned Paul George specifically as a player the Lakers had an issue with.
“We hear some of those guys talking about how they’re the team to beat in LA,” wrote Dudley, per Lakers reporter Harrison Faigen. “It’s fine if Kawhi [Leonard] says stuff like that. He’s defending a championship. We don’t trip if someone like Patrick Beverley is talking trash. That’s how he feeds his family. We get it. We respect the hustle.
“But we think it’s disrespectful for Paul George, who hasn’t won, to put himself on the level of [Le]Bron [James] and AD [Anthony Davis],” Dudley went on. “This motivates us. When we see those guys around the compound, we don’t really kick it with them. The one exception of course is Markieff [Morris], whose twin brother, Marcus, is on the Clippers. This probably keeps tensions from boiling over.”
The 35-year-old Dudley, a former Clipper, also said that the Lakers felt slighted by seeing billboards of Leonard wearing a crown “in our city.” Of course, the highly-anticipated playoff matchup between the two sides never happened, as the Clippers lost in the second round to the Denver Nuggets.
There are definitely two sides to the coin here. In truth, George was actually more accomplished in the postseason than Davis was entering last year. He led a team (the Indiana Pacers in 2013 and 2014) to the conference finals as their undisputed No. 1 option. That is something that Davis still has yet to do. But on the other hand, George has quite the history of foot-in-mouth comments that effectively put a target on his team’s back. Thus, the Lakers are just an addition to a long laundry list of people George has rubbed the wrong way.
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Paul George once again looks like an MVP candidate this season, and the humiliation of last season may be partly to thank.
The LA Clippers forward scored 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting in a blowout win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday. After the game, George said he has been motivated by the way the 2019-20 campaign ended for the team.
“I’m coming back with vengeance,” said George, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “I didn’t like, not so much of the noise and everything around [the way last season ended], but just the fact that people saw weakness.
“And I had to address that,” the six-time All-Star added. “I had to answer that. That fueled me. That put me in a place where I wanted to come back and be myself again.”
In his age-30 campaign, George is now averaging a robust 25.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. He is also posting career-highs of 50.3 percent from the field and a ridiculous 51.5 percent from three. Those are better numbers than what fellow star Kawhi Leonard is even averaging.
In previous months, George seemed to be pointing fingers elsewhere for the Clippers’ embarrassing playoff collapse. But it does sound like he has now found a more positive place to channel that energy.
Paul George did not make any excuses for Sunday’s absolutely humiliating loss, but in a way he also did.
George’s Clippers were massacred by the Dallas Mavericks, falling by the lopsided final of 124-73. After the game, the star forward said that he took full responsibility for the loss. At the same time though, George said that the Clippers were sluggish because they played on the road for Christmas Day on Friday and did not get to celebrate with their families until Saturday.
While the Clippers were on the road in Denver for Christmas, the Mavs were also on the road facing the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas. Sunday’s game took place in LA, meaning that the Mavs have not been back home since.
Though Kawhi Leonard did not play on Sunday, the Clippers’ performance as a team was still historically bad. George is a player who has a reputation for putting his foot in his mouth at times, and this may have been another instance of that.
Paul George defended the preferential treatment star players receive with the Los Angeles Clippers.
There was talk at various points last year that some Clippers players were upset with the star treatment George and Kawhi Leonard received. A report in January said some Clippers players struggled with the preferential treatment for Kawhi and PG. Another report surfaced in October said the same thing, but focused on Kawhi.
George led the Clippers with 33 points in an opening-night victory over the rival Lakers on Tuesday night. He was interviewed by TNT after the game and asked about the star treatment reports. George defended the practice.
“The dudes that put in the work that built themselves up to be where they at, it’s a reason they get to that level. They know what they need and they know what makes them play at a high level,” George said.
George also hinted that the players who had the issues are no longer with the team.
“Whoever that offends, we ain’t have that history right now in this locker room.”
We have an idea of whom George is talking about with that comment.
George is right in a sense. Yes, players who have put in the work to build themselves into stars should know what type of effort and training they need. At the same time, those players are team leaders and cannot take advantage of the situation nor set bad examples by letting others think they don’t need to work hard.
If Tuesday night’s win is any indication, maybe the Clippers have figured things out this season.
Paul George recently indicated that he was unhappy with the way Doc Rivers utilized him last year, and Rivers was initially diplomatic with his response. Now that some time has passed, the former Los Angeles Clippers coach seems to be more willing to share his actual thoughts on the subject.
George said on the “All the Smoke” podcast a couple weeks ago that Rivers tried to use him like a pindown shooter and did not involve him in enough pick-and-roll plays or post-ups. Rivers initially took the high road but noted that George played in more pick-and-rolls last season than any other in his career. The coach reiterated that during an interview with Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times this week, but he added a bit more commentary.
When asked about George, Rivers said he understands that not every player will enjoy playing for him. He also noted how George struggled in the postseason and was probably looking for someone to blame. Rivers said he joked with someone recently and said, “Paul loved playing for me until the playoffs.”
“Paul struggled in the playoffs,” Rivers said. “He struggled in the Dallas series. He needed somebody to blame, and I’m fine with that. Blame me. [Expletive], I can handle it.”
George tried to clean up his comments on Rivers after the fact, but it certainly seems like they annoyed Doc. It’s hard to argue with Doc’s response, too, especially when you look at George’s horrific stats in playoff elimination games.
Even if Rivers did make mistakes with the Clippers, George needs to prove he can play at a high level in the postseason before pointing the finger at someone else. Rivers has a championship on his resume. George does not.