Paul George joined Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on All the Smoke this week and discussed his struggles for the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2019-20 season. In the end, George essentially blamed his issues on how Doc Rivers used him.
George said Rivers was trying to deploy him more like Ray Allen or J.J. Redick by trying to get him open on pin-down screens. George said, "I can do it, but that's not really my game. I need some flow, I need some mixes of some pick-and-roll and post-ups."
Check out the clip below:
See here's the thing, George forced his way to the Clippers from the Oklahoma City Thunder and opted to play next to Kawhi Leonard. He had to know Leonard would have the ball in his hands a lot as the primary option offensively, meaning George would have to play off the ball. In Rivers' system, if you're off the ball you're going to have to use pin-downs and come off screens. Did George just not do his research before pushing for a trade to LA?
It's also worth noting, George is wrong about his usage. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor took to Twitter and brought the facts about how George was used. It turns out 33 percent of the plays George was used in were out of pick-and-roll sets, the highest mark of his career. His previous high was 25 percent in Oklahoma City.
So, no, Paul George was not used like J.J. Redick or Ray Allen last season.
The main issue here is George shouldn't be looking at others when it comes to why he had issues last season. It's no one else's fault that he couldn't hit shots in the playoffs. He made only 39.8 percent of his shots from the field in the postseason and 33.3 percent from 3-point range. He also wasn't as efficient during the regular season, as his PER dropped to 21.14 from 23.32 during the 2018-19 campaign.
George made $33 million last season. If he couldn't adapt to the system he forced his way into, that's his fault and no one else's. The 30-year-old needs to look at himself for why he struggled instead of pointing fingers at the now-departed Rivers.