Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Paul George took shots at former head coach Doc Rivers, saying that the team failed to make any adjustments as they blew a 3-1 lead during their second round series against the Denver Nuggets in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
George said that the team failed to do anything to stop the Nuggets comeback, saying they were “having the same s— happen over and over again”, during an appearance on the “All The Smoke” podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes.
George was critical of how Rivers handled the situation, saying the team was not prepared enough and said that a lack of practice time due to injuries and circumstances contributed to the playoff collapse as the players were forced to work out issues on the court during games.
“It was tough, because we were confident,” George said (h/t Ohm Youngmisuk).
“We went up 3-1, we felt like, we’re going to win the next one. We lost. We [were] like, cool, we’re up 3-2, we gonna win the next one. We lost. But during that whole process, we never worked on adjustments. We never worked on what to do differently. We just literally having the same s— happen over and over again. It started to play a trick on you like, man, what’s going on?
“We are talking amongst each other like the conversation is, we are going to be all right. The conversation should have been like, nah, we need to change this, we need to switch this up. I don’t think we deserved it. We wasn’t prepared enough going into it. … We didn’t put the work into it. It was kind of just like, yo, we got PG, we got Kawhi [Leonard], Lou [Williams], Trezz [Montrezl Harrell]. We going to be straight; we are going to figure it out.”
The Clippers lost three consecutive games to Denver, as the Nuggets stormed back to oust the Championship favorites, and Rivers was let go following the season. Rivers would eventually land the coaching gig with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I missed that time in the summer of playing pickup ball, hooping, getting into a rhythm, getting into a flow, working on my game, the timing right,” Goerge said. “So when I came back and started playing again, I just felt off, like I didn’t feel like a part of the team.”
George also criticized Rivers for how the coach utilized him, saying Rivers didn’t play to his strengths, stating that he was utilized “like a Ray Allen or like a JJ Redick — all pindowns.”
“I can do it. But that ain’t my game,” George said. “I need some flow. I need some mixes of pick-and-rolls. I need some post-ups. Just different touches. … And so, it was just, that last season was just hard overall.”