Paul George
(Josh Lefkowitz / Getty Images)

Paul George struggled mightily at the end of this year’s playoff run. With a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals, George choked and put up abysmal numbers in the final three games. The Nuggets came back to win the series.

In the final three games, Paul George shot 40%, 44%, and 25% from the field. He shot 1-11 in the fourth quarter of Game 7 with the season on the line. His plus-minus for those last three games was -56.

The fallout from the Clippers’ playoff exit was fairly large. The whole team, especially Paul George, were criticized for how they played after talking up such a big game on social media. Head coach Doc Rivers was fired. Montrezl Harrell left for the crosstown rival Lakers. The LA Clippers’ title pursuit ended in disaster

Paul George Lied About Doc Rivers to Defend Himself

But it gets worse. Paul George appeared on Showtime’s All the Smoke Podcast earlier today. Former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson host the podcast. The conversation veered to George’s thoughts about how the season went. Here is what he said:

The way I was being used – I felt like Doc [Rivers] 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, you know what I mean. I need some flow, I need some mixes of pick-and-roll, I need some post-ups – just different touches. And so…that last season was just hard.

Paul George, via Showtime‘s All the Smoke Podcast

With this quote, Paul George implied that Doc Rivers avoided using the forward in pick-and-roll situations. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor went to fact-check this claim, finding some interesting results.

33% of George’s plays this season were pick-and-roll situations. One in every three plays. These comments came in the larger context of speaking about the Clippers’ chemistry issues. Doc Rivers certainly has his shortcomings as an NBA head coach, but the claim made here is just a blatant lie. PG13 was used to what he claims his strengths are, apparently the most he ever has been in his career.

The conclusion is that George wants to blame his former coach for misusing his players and not allowing the Clippers to realize their full potential. As the Twitter fact-checking committee has found, his claim has no weight. If anything, it’s a poor attempt to shift the blame to someone who isn’t with the organization anymore.

Unfortunately for Paul George, those Western Conference Semifinals box scores aren’t going away, and Twitter comes back fast with the receipts.


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