Paul George accepts the Los Angeles Clippers did not stay as much as lofty expectations however insists the season by no means felt like a “championship-or-bust” situation.
The Clippers have been among the many favourites to turn into NBA champions after bringing in superstars George and Kawhi Leonard however their await a maiden Convention Finals look continued after a disappointing night in Orlando on Tuesday.
George had simply 10 factors on 4-of-16 capturing and Leonard put up solely 14 because the Denver Nuggets ran out 104-89 winners in a Recreation 7 of the Western Convention semi-finals, changing into the primary group to recuperate from consecutive 3-1 collection deficits in the identical postseason.
Whereas the defeat hurts for George now, he stays satisfied the group will proceed to develop collectively.
“It was apparent stress to stay as much as the title expectations. However as a participant, I imply, you need that. It is the primary time I have been in that state of affairs the place we’re anticipated to win,” George stated.
“However it’s what it’s. It is no cop out. The very fact of the matter is, we did not stay as much as that expectation.
“However I feel internally, we have all the time felt, this isn’t a championship-or-bust 12 months for us. We will solely get higher the longer we keep collectively and the extra we’re round one another.
“The extra chemistry as a gaggle, the higher. I feel that is actually the story of the tape of this season. We simply did not have sufficient time collectively.”
George is eager to not see any knee-jerk reactions, responding when requested what roster modifications he wish to see: “None. None. It is our first 12 months collectively.
“You may’t even say we need to change our roster. We like what we have. I imply, we have been saying all of it 12 months. It is nearly chemistry, being collectively.
“The extra we could be collectively, the higher we’ll be. It is 12 months one. We have quite a bit to replicate on. Rather a lot to take a look at going ahead and to get higher with.”
George and Leonard, a title winner with the Toronto Raptors final season, fell brief this 12 months however the former has loved enjoying alongside his new team-mate.
“I imply, it was nice. Nice first season with Kawhi. , nonetheless studying, figuring one another out,” he stated.
“However I assumed we had an amazing 12 months enjoying off one another. We will solely enhance off that. However I imply, it is stress you need. It is stress you need. You need that stress.
“It is the primary time I have been on a group and never be thought-about an underdog. So it was totally different, however you need that stress as a competitor, as a man that wishes to compete. You need that stress.
“We did not make it to the place we needed to get to. Tip our hats off to Denver. They performed nice, and once more, all we have to do is stay up for the following one.”
Leonard added: “We have been proper there. There isn’t any excuses. We must always have completed it off. Like I stated, the final three video games just about mirrored one another.”