Los Angeles Clippers star guard Paul George insists he is now in a much better place mentally than he was last season when the time came for the playoffs. George struggled mightily in the Orlando bubble when the playoffs started and he received a lot of criticism after the Clippers surprisingly lost to the Dnver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinal.
George revealed that being in the bubble -- away from his family and friends -- led to a depression. "Well I think this year it's been easier because I have outlets," George said, per ESPN. "You know, I'm able to live a normal life.
I can go home, I can see my family, I can spend time with my family, I can interact with other people outside of this team. And so that alone has just been a big difference to be back to some normalcy. "It's a big difference from the bubble life to where I'm at now from a headspace standpoint."
The Clippers have made several roster changes since the end of the last season. "Whole different team, different coaching staff," Clippers forward Marcus Morris said. "Energy's a lot better. The camaraderie's a lot better.
Everybody wants to be here. Everybody is playing their role the right way and we all have one goal and we are all committed to it."
George was motivated to bounce back this season
"[Last year's finish] was the motivation enough needed coming into this season," George said.
"I needed to be better and up to this point, it's just being who I am and being who I been." Ty Lue, who replaced Doc Rivers as the Clippers head coach after last season, also underlined that ''last year was last year."
"Last year was last year," Lue said. "We have a different team, we have a different formula, we've done things differently. Our team is healthy. We have made some changes. So we are a totally different team. That doesn't necessarily mean we are going to win a championship because of that, but we are in a different place."
"Pressure to me is something totally different," Lue added. "It's growing up where we come from as kids, not knowing where your next meal is from or your lights or water is going to be cut off or if someone is going to be shot on the next block over.
... If we don't play hard, don't compete and don't bring it every single night, those are things you can't live with. I don't see any pressure. I think our mindset is totally different from last year, and we are ready to go."