Amid Heavy Criticism, Former NBA Champion Refuses to Give Up on Clippers’ Paul George

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The LA Clippers went from being the most deserving team to win the title to becoming a failure in a matter of five days. They blew a 3-1 lead against Nuggets and that came down especially hard on the duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. 

Since then, expectations were high for Steve Ballmer to do whatever it takes to bring back Chris Paul and inject some leadership into the team. However, the Clippers did not make a legitimate move to attract CP3 and eventually lost him to the Suns. 

Now, many critics believe that the present duo cannot alone get the Clippers to the title, but there is still someone ready to fight their case.

Can Paul George clear himself of the doubts and prove his mettle?

Clippers' Paul George and Kawhi Leonard against Nuggets' Jamal Murray
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) handles the ball while Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first half in game seven of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In a recent interview, former NBA Champion with the Warriors, Matt Barnes said, “Kawhi hasn’t shouldered enough blame. When you’re the superstar on the team and they go out and get who you want, which is Paul George, and I haven’t given up on that combination. First of all, they didn’t play it together a lot enough last year, but at the same time, I think after one season and a crazy season it was, you can’t give up on Paul George. I just had Paul George on All the Smoke last week, he’s energized out on a mission, so I’m excited to see what he does this year.” 

Evidently, the Clippers organization went out of bounds to sign PG on the recommendation of The Klaw. They gave away Danilo Gallinari (F), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (G), and a huge package of drafts, including five 1st-round picks to acquire him from OKC. This left them with nothing much to offer to other teams in case they want a veteran to make a winning trio.

What is it that the Clippers are lacking?

Matt had earlier revealed how CP was eager to reunite with the Clippers, but the feeling was not mutual. Now, he threw the fact that the Lakers are dealing with the off-season with a sense of urgency, and that is how the Clippers have to proceed as well. He further added:

“The glaring weakness on this team is the point guard position, and they did not address it yet. Hopefully, they have some time and you always know that it can be a dark horse trade … they have time until free agency. But, I don’t think it’s so much that the Clippers have failed.”

Now the onus is on the Clippers’ front office to get some good pieces from here and there to equip their duo with an even better bench than they already had last year. They already have filled the space of Montrezl Harrell with Serge Ibaka, but the more the better.

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