Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George said he came back this season with vengeance after performing disappointingly in the playoffs and blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets. The Clippers, who had a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Nuggets, blew big leads in each of the last three games as the Nuggets won the series 4-3.
George couldn't make a shot when it mattered most and he absolutely failed to deliver against the Nuggets. On Friday night, George dropped 26 points in a 138-100 win over the Kings as the Clippers improved to 9-4 on the season.
"I'm coming back with vengeance," George said of his mindset entering this season, per ESPN. "I didn't like, not so much of the noise and everything around [the way last season ended], but just the fact that people saw weakness.
"And I had to address that. I had to answer that. That fueled me. That put me in a place where I wanted to come back and be myself again."
Clippers players believed in George
George received a lot of heat following a disappointing performance in the playoffs but his teammates Marcus Morris Sr.
and Kawhi Leonard believed he would bounce back. "P is playing at a high level right now," Clippers forward Morris said. "Which we all knew that he would. I feel as though he's having an MVP season. And he told us that before the year started, that he was gonna come with it."
George missed the beginning of last season and Leonard suggested that a limited summer affected his season. "He was able to work out this summer," Leonard said of George. "Last summer he was limited, probably only could shoot 10 shots a day or so with his shoulder surgeries.
He's coming out with determination and he's focused." George is having an outstanding season so far and Leonard isn't surprised by that. "I can't predict the future," Leonard added on whether he saw this coming when the two worked out in the offseason.
"But all I could say is he put his mind into his work, and when I did go work out with him, a lot of his stuff was like kind of game-simulated, working on the passes, reads, and it just translated over pretty much." George has been averaging 25.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists this season.