Paul George said the Los Angeles Clippers were unable to make adjustments during the beautiful collapse of the NBA playoffs last season when they lost the series 3-1 in the second round to the Denver Nuggets.
When George appeared in Wednesday’s All The Smoke podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, he spoke openly about the fact that there was nothing the Clippers could do to stop the bleeding as soon as Denver came back, and said the same thing…. happened over and over again.
While Coach Doc Rivers was coaching the Clippers for the second time, George said the team was not well prepared. He also noted that the lack of practice time due to injuries and the conditions of the season aggravated the collapse, as players had to try to smooth out the difficulties on the field during the playoffs.
It was difficult because we were sure George Jackson and Barnes had told us when he was asked about the Clippers collapse. We went up 3-1, we felt like we were going to win the next round. We’ve lost. We were like this: Cool, we’re 3-2 ahead, we win the next one. We’ve lost. But in all this time, we have never worked on adjustments. We never worked on what else to do. We literally have the same… over and over again. It’s starting to play on you, man, what’s going on?
We’ll talk the way we talk, everything’s gonna be okay. The conversation had to be like this. No, we have to change it, we have to change it. I don’t think we deserve it. We’re not sufficiently prepared for this. … We didn’t invest in this work. It was like, yo, we got PG, we got Kawhi [Leonard], Lou [Williams], Trezz [Montrell Harrell]. We’ll be honest, we’ll take care of it.
The Clippers lost three games in a row on Denver and did not meet the expectations of the championship they started the season with. This led to the separation of the team from Rivers, who failed to keep the Clippers alive due to a season of injuries, little time for training and constant setbacks.
George, who missed the first 11 games of the regular season before returning with an average of 21.5 points and 5.7 rebounds, said his first season with the Clippers began with difficulty because of his inability to train as usual or his inability to train with his new team after shoulder surgery in the summer of 2019.
I missed the time in summer when I was playing ball, bouncing, diving into the rhythm, the flow, working on my game, the right moment, he says. When I came back and started playing again, I just didn’t feel like I was part of the team.
George also said that Rivers didn’t play on his strength and said he was used like Ray Allen or J.J. Radick – on all the windows.
I can do that. But that’s not my game, George. I need a power. I need a mix of pickup truck and wheels. I need some notes. They’re just different keys. … So last season was generally difficult.
The Clippers rely on Tyrone Lew, who replaced Rivers last season and left his position as senior assistant to improve game strategy and chemistry between Leonard, George and the Clippers players. According to Lew, the main difference this season, which should help the chemistry, is that Leonard and George are in good health and attend a training camp.
As I speak with Kauhi, he is happy to be back in court, Liu said Wednesday. If you’re dealing with big players, if you lose at the beginning of the playoffs, you always want to come back. That’s what big players do. We all failed on our goal last season, and we all know it.
Kauchi has done a lot of work to call [the initiative] boys, talk to boys, see more boys, added Liu. He did a great job. He’s only happy to come back after talking to him, and we’re all happy.
Lew is no stranger to dealing with superstars and bringing them to justice. He won two championships as a player for the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant and Shakeill O’Neill, as well as another title as coach, and led Lebron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Louis and George said the Clippers needed a lot more time. George said that this was the main reason the Clippers were often on different sides and barking at each other during the playoffs.
I attribute it to the fact that we haven’t trained all year, and it’s hard when you get a new group of guys together, George said. Problems that occur during matches, which… can be solved in practice. In practice you will bump your head, but you come from both practice and practice: Okay, I get it. I know where he’s from. If it happens during the games, it will rub something else.
It’s hard to come back from there, especially in the playoffs. Then that’s exactly what you are: Okay, here’s what he does. So, okay, I got you. It was the team, it was our life, it was our job after everything began to unravel and unravel.
This week the Clippers returned to camp with another team, Rivers went to Philadelphia 76, Harrell signed with the Lakers and Jamaichel Green joined Nugget. The Clippers added Serge Ibaka and Luke Kennard through an independent agency and company.
George said this season will start differently, simply because he and Leonard are healthier and can work with the whole team.
I think everyone starts this year with a healthy side, we start with a healthy side, George said. Kauhi and I will work together for a while. I guess things don’t rush in the season.