SIXERS

Disgruntled Paul George has curious Doc Rivers criticism

SIXERS

The Sixers bringing in a new head coach for the first time since 2013 will make for plenty of question marks in Doc Rivers' first season at the helm.

What does his offense look like over a full season? How does he get the most out of his players? What do his decisions look like in crunch time?

Rivers started explaining some of his plans Tuesday at Sixers training camp, but on Wednesday one of his former Clippers players painted a picture of a coach who mismanaged his talents.

Clippers forward Paul George is scheduled to appear on Showtime's All The Smoke podcast next week, and in a teaser clip uploaded Wednesday, George had some criticisms of the way Rivers was using him in the Clippers' offense. 

Here's what George had to say:

"The way I was being used, I felt like Doc 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-rolls, I need some post-ups. Just different touches, you know what I mean? So it was just... that last season was just hard, overall."

Hmm. 

George's first year in Los Angeles saw his true shooting percentage hit a career-high 58.9% in Rivers' system, his per-100 possession scoring hit the second-highest mark of his career (34.4 points), and the Clippers were one of the best teams in the league until George's woeful postseason performances. It's not like George looked to be struggling.

 

And, as Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer noted, George's perception doesn't really match up with reality:

So there's that. 

But it's also interesting to note that one of Rivers' two star players seemed unhappy with the way he was being used - accurately or not - last year. Rivers will be shaking up the way the Sixers play basketball this season, and it'll be very interesting to see how Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons react to the change, after having one head coach for their respective careers to date.

Sometimes perception can be more important than reality, particularly when you're dealing with borderline superstars like Embiid and Simmons. It'll be important for the two to gel with the organization's new coach, who has a five-year deal in tow.

George's comments sound more like a player scrounging for answers to explain away a postseason meltdown than something Sixers fans should be worried about. We'll see if anything like this pops up during the year.

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