Following L.A.’s second-round defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, Paul George credited his team’s failure to poor chemistry.
“First year together … we can’t even say we want to change our roster; we like what we got. We’ve been saying it all year: just chemistry, being together. The more we’re together, the better we will be. It’s year one, year one. We’ve got a lot to reflect on.”
It is inarguable that chemistry is an important component of a Championship team. Often, when “superteams” are formed for the first time, it can take a year or two before they achieve the desired results and that could certainly prove true for the Clippers as well.
But there might be something deeper going on with this team. On multiple occasions throughout the season, Clippers players were throwing shade at their own teammates and, according to reports, that includes a heated exchange between Paul George and Montrezl Harrell during the series against Denver.
Early in the second quarter, a struggling George had committed two careless turnovers in less than a minute. The second mishap was a half-court pass to Harrell, who was near the paint but surrounded by Murray and Michael Porter Jr.
Murray picked off the pass. Seconds later, the Clippers called a timeout.
Harrell approached his teammate about the risky pass, with George not taking responsibility and arguing the pass could have been caught had Harrell made the right play, sources said.
This set off the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
Harrell responded with something along the lines of, “You’re always right. Nobody can tell you nothing,” and expletives were uttered from both players, sources said. George eventually toned down his rhetoric, but a heated Harrell wasn’t having it. Teammates began clapping on the sideline, in part to disguise what was going on and in an attempt to defuse the situation. The incident deescalated shortly after as coach Doc Rivers took his seat to go over the game plan.
The Clippers have been walking with a sense of entitlement all season long, which is a major departure from the rough and rugged identity that had just a year ago.
One has to think the behavior/mindset of the stars plays a huge factor in that, and it appears that some on the team are not afraid to call it out it.
What this means going forward, though, is anyone’s guess. It’s highly likely that the Clips roll out this same roster next year, with the hopes that some more time will allow them to build up their chemistry. But the fact remains that this team has to work out some major problems before they win anything of substance.
The change will have to start from the inside out.