Clippers’ Paul George Contradicts Himself While Taking Shots at Doc Rivers

Published 12/02/2020, 6:53 PM EST
Sep 15, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) handles the ball while Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first half in game seven of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


In the NBA, there are no set ground rules for a player to follow and enjoy a guaranteed success. One can build expertise in the man-to-man offense, zone offense, transition/fast-break offense, iso plays, spot ups, putbacks, etc. What works for the Clippers’ Paul George might not work for the Blazers’ Damian Lillard.

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One of the many responsibilities of a head coach is to discover the strengths of his players and try to sharpen those skills. But what if there’s a contradiction, a gap between a coach’s demand and a player’s intended offerings? Or what if a player confuses his coach’s strategies and ruins his season? Clippers’ 2019 signing, Paul became the defected product of one such ineffective manufacturing.

Clippers’ Paul George and his confusing remarks

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Recently, PG sat in an interview where he revealed something that contradicted himself. Even after reportedly finishing a career-high 33% pick-and-roll season, he seemed to complain about not getting to play his natural game. The 30-YO expressed, “Doc was trying to play me as a Ray Allen or a JJ Redick, all pin-downs. I can do it, but that ain’t my game. I need some flow, I need some mixes of some pick-and-roll, and post ups…That last season was hard.”

Pin downs are set by post players who would set a screen for a shooter to utilize. It is a very common practice in the NBA to use this playmaking. But Paul claiming Doc Rivers limiting him to that strategy is quite different from what his data speak. PG’s PPP efficiency in the 2019-20 season remained 0.97 at 53.2% accuracy with effective field goals. His regular-season performance could not resonate in the playoffs where he seemed off. Interestingly, Montrezl Harrell, a former Clipper, had a PPP of 1.16.

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The complex relationship between PG and Doc Rivers

The two names share an unsettling issue that includes Doc’s daughter. Apart from that, their chemistry always remained under the scanner ever since PG joined Rivers’ Clippers. There were claims that the former Clippers’ coach’s preferential treatment of star shooter Kawhi Leonard did not go very well with PG. However, it was Doc who on many occasions kept Paul’s back when he was not performing. But Paul’s recent comments really raise eyebrows on the relationship they share.

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Overall, it was Paul who failed at big moments. His shooting rate of 39.8% in the post-season was another blow to his stats. Something was totally wrong with his approach and Doc clearly could not solve that. Can Tyronn Lue prove to have some answers for Paul? Help us know your views in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1254 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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