In the opinion of Paul George, the shocking demise of the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2020 NBA Playoffs was the byproduct of overconfidence and a lack of practice time by the team.
George appeared on the “All the Smoke” podcast and recounted (at the 4:12 mark) how the Clippers seemingly assumed that their status as championship favorites would be enough to capture the franchise’s first title.
“We wasn’t prepared, we didn’t put the work into it,” George said. “It was just kind of just like, we got PG (George), we got Kawhi [Leonard]. We got Lou [Williams], Trez (Montrezl Harrell). We gonna be straight. We gonna figure it out.”
In addition, George acknowledged that the Clippers’ lack of practice time ended up costing them in crucial situations.
“We didn’t practice during the whole year,” George said. “That’s hard to do when you’re putting a fresh new group of guys together because the problems you have during games, those shits can get ironed out in practice. You’re gonna bump heads in practice, but you’re gonna come out of that practice like, ‘Ok, I understand this dude. I know where he coming from.’ When it happens during games, it’s gonna rub a little differently.”
After the Clippers watched a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals disappear and end their season, George was the target of some severe criticism, including from some teammates.
The collapse cost Clippers head coach Doc Rivers his job, with George now apparently aware of the steps it takes to become a championship team in the NBA.