Paul George’s quote after the Los Angeles Clippers lost Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Tuesday night should be alarming to fans.
George shot terribly and was just 4-for-16 in the Clippers’ 114-89 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 7. The Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead and multiple large leads in closeout games before rolling over in the fourth quarter on Tuesday.
The team never seemed to have urgency during the regular season or in the series against Denver, and that was reflected in George’s attitude.
“I think internally, we always felt this is not a championship-or-bust year for us,” George said after the game. “We can only get better the longer we stay together, the more we’re around each other. The more chemistry for this group, the better. We just didn’t have enough time together.”
That is a major issue.
This team was put together with the intention of winning a championship. The Clippers gave up loads of players and draft picks to get George from Oklahoma City and convince Kawhi Leonard to sign with them. They built a nice supporting cast as well. To see them go out in the conference semifinals and then say they didn’t have a championship-or-bust mentality is a problem.
The Clippers shouldn’t be taking anything for granted or acting like there will be plenty of other opportunities. That is how teams end up surpassing you.
But in hindsight, the lack of urgency existed all along. The Clippers had players missing regular season games throughout the year, then had players in and out of the bubble, and George went through some early playoff struggles. They need that championship mentality for next season. Their players also seem to recognize they have something else they need to fix.
Lou Williams and Paul George both pointed to the team’s chemistry as an issue for the Los Angeles Clippers in their early playoff loss this season.
The Clippers lost 104-89 to the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Tuesday night. The Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead and choked in the fourth quarter with just 15 points in Game 7.
The disappointing Game 7 and season left the Clippers answering questions after the loss. The team’s lack of chemistry was a major talking point.
“We came up short. We did have championship expectations. We had the talent to do it. I don’t think we had the chemistry to do it and it showed,” Williams said after the game. “We had lapses on defense and on offense. I think guys have played in systems where they were expecting guys to be in certain spots offensively. A lot of different guys made adjustments. It showed. But at the end of the day we were up 3-1 … we should have closed this deal out. You give credit to Denver. We take our lumps and keep moving.”
George pointed to the same issue.
“First year together … we can’t even say we want to change our roster; we like what we got. We’ve been saying it all year: just chemistry, being together. The more we’re together, the better we will be. It’s year one, year one. We’ve got a lot to reflect on.”
Head coach Doc Rivers brought up the team’s lack of continuity.
Kawhi Leonard mentioned the chemistry too:
The Clippers had their two star players join the team over the summer. The Kawhi Leonard and Paul George took turns missing games in the regular season. Other players missed games too. Then you had players in and out of the Orlando Bubble at times too, including one who got punished.
None of that stopped the Clippers from building a 3-1 series lead against Denver, but when the going get tough, it may have kept them from powering through.
The pressure is growing on the Los Angeles Clippers after another blown lead in Game 6, but Paul George is insisting that the mood is good.
The Clippers blew a 19-point second half lead, the second straight game they blew a huge lead in a closeout game. It means they will go to Game 7 against the Denver Nuggets, and given the circumstances, the pressure on the team to avoid a historic collapse will be huge.
According to George, the team’s mood is positive, and there’s no panic despite the nature of the back-to-back losses.
The Clippers can still win Game 7 and essentially put this in the past. George is saying all the right things with that in mind. If they don’t, though, they will never live this down. They led by 16 in Game 5 and 19 in Game 6 and did not win either. This is a team built to win a title now. If they don’t — especially in this fashion — it will go down as one of the NBA’s more infamous playoff collapses.
George scored 33 points in the Game 6 loss, but was a -23. He’ll need to step up his all-around game like he did earlier in the series to push the Clippers past Denver in Game 7.
Paul George’s playoff struggles may be a thing of the past, and that is a problem for the rest of the league.
George scored 32 points in the Los Angeles Clippers’ 113-107 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Monday night. He made 12 of the 18 shots he took, including an impressive 5-for-7 performance on threes.
That was a huge turnaround from Games 2-4 in the first round against Dallas. George was 10-for-47 (21.3 percent) during those games and got mocked online and by Charles Barkley over his “Playoff P” nickname. George sparred with his haters on Instagram and even admitted he was depressed from the criticism.
Things have changed since then.
George is averaging 24.3 points per game in the series against the Nuggets on 49.9 percent shooting.
He’s also playing some good defense and mentioned that after the game.
“That’s what we have to hang our hat on. We (take) pride on defense,” George said.
The Clippers now have a 2-1 series lead on the Nuggets. Game 4 will be on Wednesday.
Paul George broke out with a big game on Tuesday night to give his Los Angeles Clippers a Game 5 win over the Dallas Mavericks, and that may be the turning point for him.
George led the Clippers with 35 points in a convincing 154-111 win over the Mavericks to take a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series.
After the game, George was interviewed by TNT’s Jared Greenberg and gave some incredibly raw answers.
“The bubble got the best of me,” George admitted. “I was just in a dark place. I really wasn’t here. I checked out. These past couple games, it was just difficult. But, shout out to the people who stood behind me, that was in my corner. The positivity, my family, friends. Everybody. Thank everybody that reached out to me.
“I was just in a bad place. I found my way, I’m back, and I look forward to the rest of this run,” he said.
George then expressed the difficulty of playing in the fan-less bubble atmosphere in Orlando.
“For me, it was just hard to get into that playoff mode with no intensity here, no fans, no atmosphere. I was lost. I thought we created the energy. I came in with that mindset that this is Staples, we at home, the place is packed. I really had to psych myself out to get up. I thought the whole team took it and ran with it, and we decided to dictate this game.”
If George now has his mindset right, this could be huge for the Clippers. George was widely mocked for playing poorly early in the series against Dallas, but now his team has a 3-2 lead and could be on its way to bigger things.
Here is video of the interview:
Paul George offered a blunt assessment of his playoff struggles this year.
George has shot the ball poorly for the Los Angeles Clippers through four games against the Dallas Mavericks. He’s averaged just 11.3 points on 21 percent shooting, including 16 percent on threes, in the Clippers’ past three games.
George recognizes how much his poor play has hindered the team.
“To be honest, in hindsight, if I shoot the ball better, this series would be a lot different,” George said Sunday, via The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.
George gave credit to Luka Doncic for playing well and the Mavs’ for their defense.
“If I make shots this serious could be a little different. That’s the obvious of course and that’s just what it comes down to. But give them credit. They’re defending, they’re shooting the ball. Luka is playing phenomenal,” George said via Andrew Greif.
George shot 3-for-14 including 1-for-7 on threes during Sunday’s 135-133 loss to Dallas. He scored just nine points in 45 minutes.
Instead of going up 3-1 in the first-round playoff series, the Clippers are now tied 2-2 with the Mavericks. The Clippers got 32 points from Kawhi Leonard and 36 points from Lou Williams on Sunday. It was George who failed to deliver, and now he’s concerning himself with his haters.
Paul George raised some eyebrows with a profane social media post that seemed to serve as a message for his haters. After Friday night’s playoff win, he doubled down, albeit a bit more politely.
George said his confrontational Instagram post was simply his way of showing he’s not caught up in what others think.
Fair enough. It was down to George to respond after an underwhelming Game 2 that saw him go just 4/17 from the field. Game 3 was not much better, as George shot just 3/16 (18.8 percent) from the field while contributing only 11 points. However, unlike in Game 2, his Los Angeles Clippers managed to escape with a victory.
George still has plenty of skeptics out there. The Clippers can probably skate by the Mavericks without him at his best, but he’ll have to improve against better opponents. As long as he can do that, he’ll be able to silence his critics on the floor without resorting to social media posts.
Charles Barkley took a funny jab at Paul George on Friday night.
Barkley has been unimpressed by George’s play in the postseason so far and mocked the Los Angeles Clippers forward’s nickname.
When he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2018, George was asked about guarding Donovan Mitchell in the playoffs. He shrugged off the assignment as no big deal, saying you haven’t met “Playoff P” yet.
Barkley decided to use that as part of a joke, saying you can’t call yourself “Playoff P” and lose all the time. He even poked fun at himself over his lack of championships, saying they don’t call him “Championship Chuck.”
Nice one for Chuck.
George is off to a sub-par start through three games this postseason. He’s averaging 17.3 points on 29.3 percent shooting. George’s teams have not made it past the first round of the playoffs for three years in a row, though many factors contributed to those outcomes. Still, it gave Barkley a chance to crack a joke, which he’s been doing very well lately.
Paul George appeared to post a message to his haters on Instagram Thursday.
George posted an image of text that said:
“Idgaf what anybody think about me. F— is u thinkin (sic) about me for anyway.”
The text has been edited by Larry Brown Sports for profanity. “Idgaf” is an acronym that stands for “I don’t give a f—.”
George’s Los Angeles Clippers lost 127-114 to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night to even the series at 1-1. George shot just 4/17 (23.5 percent) from the field in the game and was a -13. He also was mocked for shooting an airball in the third quarter. Game 1 was a different story, as George scored 27 points in an 8-point win.
George has been active on Instagram lately. He also got into it with Damian Lillard after a Clippers-Blazers game two weeks ago.
The Los Angeles Clippers won their first playoff game of 2020 on Monday, but it didn’t come completely cleanly.
The Clippers got out to an early 10-0 lead but ended up trailing by the end of the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in their first-round playoff game. The Clippers wound up securing a 118-110 to go up 1-0 in the series.
Paul George had 27 points in the contest and acknowledged after the game that the team was out of sync at times.
“Yeah, we had moments. We had moments and I think it showed. But that’s the thing — we know where we want to get to. We know this is a process. We didn’t expect to come out here and go 16-0 — that’s the goal — but we’re smarter than that, we understand what’s at stake,” George told Lisa Salters.
That’s the thing — it doesn’t matter if they have some down moments so long as they win each series. That’s what Kawhi Leonard learned last year with the Toronto Raptors when the eventual champions fell behind in the playoffs against both the Sixers and Bucks before coming back to win their series.
As for the Clippers, this was their first time in Orlando playing with a full group after guys like Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams missed time. The Clippers are among the favorites to win the championship.