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Paul George on why Clippers lost first-round series against Mavericks

The Los Angeles Clippers’ postseason journey concluded in a disappointing first-round exit against the Dallas Mavericks. Clippers star Paul George recently discussed the series and his team’s performance on his podcast, Podcast P, presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment.

In the podcast, George delved into the Clippers’ approach during the series and highlighted the team’s over-reliance on isolation basketball, which played into the Mavericks’ defensive strategy.

George emphasized, “We relied on too much isolation basketball, which their whole game plan was to load up and force someone else to make plays and force other people to shoot.

“So they were sending multiple defenders, they were plugging, they were forcing, kind of shutting the lane off by coming over and fake doubles, sending doubles. I think they were mixing a lot of coverage up which was making it hard to catch a rhythm.

“Whereas game four, and our winning game one we played a lot faster, it was a quick pace. That’s how you got to be the best teams right now and the teams that are still playing right now are young and their youth, they play fast. They’re quick pace. They’re getting in offense quick. It’s a lot tougher to guard that. You can still play isolation through that but it’s tougher to load up when you’re in transition when the ball is moved from one side to another. I think we just failed to do that.”

Reflecting on what the Clippers should have done differently, George emphasized the need for a faster-paced game, transition opportunities, and ball movement to counter the Mavericks’ defensive schemes.

He stated, “We should have played a lot quicker… We should have, after rebounds, tried to get out and run the lanes and we should have played on the second side, forced the ball to reverse a couple times where we could attack with our ISO players.

“But I thought we came down and rightfully so it happens, you try to play hero ball, you try to make the big plays, you try to be the score and be dominant but you fail to realize sometimes you got to take what the defense gives you and it might not be your night or it might be your night later in the game opposed to trying to will it to be your night and I think we got in trouble with that.”

Additionally, George acknowledged his personal performance and identified areas where he could have made better decisions on the court, particularly in recognizing defensive schemes and facilitating for teammates.

“The one thing I should have done better is just been a little bit more efficient and like I said, taking it for what it was, their plan was to get the ball out of my hands and show extra bodies, which in game three I thought I made the adjustment going into game four to be more aggressive to score,” he said.

Regarding the series between the Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder, George sees the Mavericks holding the advantage due to the experience and scoring prowess of their star duo, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

While acknowledging the Thunder’s depth and potential, George believes that the Mavericks’ playoff experience could give them the edge in the series.

George remarked, “I actually think Dallas has the advantage… you have two superstars that have been in tough playoff environments, tough playoff games, they know how to rise to the occasion.”

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