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August 15, 2020

Paul George

Los Angeles, California, USA

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions for P.G.

Q. Doc was mentioning he felt like before the shutdown in March, probably the best you looked all year at this point. He feels like you're inching closer to that level of rhythm. How would you assess where you're at entering the Playoffs?

PAUL GEORGE: I think we're getting back towards that. Rhythm is definitely coming together. Chemistry's coming back together. I think we in a good spot right now. For us, it's just fine-tuning it. I think we're doing that.

Q. Doc said you would be disappointed if you don't win the whole thing. What is your mindset going into a Playoffs with a team like this? Is it championship or bust? Are you more philosophical about it?

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, we want to win the championship. That's the reason we committed to be here. It's as simple as that. We should have one goal and we have one goal, and that's to win it.

But I think also we looking at this thing from a long-term perspective, as well, that if it doesn't happen, this is only going to build us even further going down the stretch, going into next season.

But first things first. We are here to compete for that championship, and nothing else matters but to win it.

Q. Having experienced two weeks of seeding games, do you go to the Playoffs feeling like anything can happen, it's just so different that things surprising could pop up?

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, yeah. It's the bubble. Guys are shooting it well. I don't think it's that much pressure on guys being in a hostile environment. So that definitely changes things.

Give the Phoenix Suns credit for what they did here. I think also it's the bubble, you know what I mean? Anything can happen here. You saw it with them. They came here with a goal. Unfortunately they didn't make it but they did everything they could to make it.

It is what it is, the bubble.

Q. Do you feel any more comfortable having experienced a month plus in here as you look ahead to the next month dealing with the environment off the court and on?

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, yeah. I mean, obviously the longer you're here, the more comfortable you get just from a surroundings standpoint.

But, you know, it is what it is. This is what we have. This is home for us hopefully for the next month and a half, two months, however long this is. But first things first. You got to be comfortable because it's going to show in your play if you're not.

I think you just got to adapt early.

Q. Trez is in quarantine for a lot longer than you were in quarantine. Have you been reaching out to him? Dropping off food, any of that stuff?

PAUL GEORGE: No, we've been keeping touch on Trez. We'll go and knock on his door. It's funny. After practice when we talking in the hallway, he hear us talking. He's like (indiscernible) peeping through the peephole.

We've been trying to do everything. Just what he dealt with, the passing of his grandmother, now he has to sit with that for 10 days, however long it's about, in his room.

We try just to be around him, support him. It's tough to go through that and then have to deal with that in a room for 10 days. We just try to be with him as much as possible.

Q. You and Kawhi haven't gotten a ton of time during the regular season, then the pandemic hit. You were looking to come into this bubble getting on the same page. What have you and Kawhi gained in this last month and a half in the bubble that's going to help you guys in the Playoffs?

PAUL GEORGE: Being in the bubble? Is that what you asking?

Q. Being in the bubble and on the court together, what you guys have learned?

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, same stuff. We spent a lot of time out of the bubble. I visited him, he visited me. We spent time in the bubble.

For us, it's just more and more being together, learning each other, figuring each other out. The more we're together, the more and the better the chemistry gets.

For us, guys like the ball in different places, they like to play a certain way. It's just getting an understanding of where he likes the ball in his space and surrounding him. Vice versa. That's all it really comes down to.

Q. When you said 'out of the bubble', do you mean during the season suspension or during the season?

PAUL GEORGE: During the season suspension.

Q. What did you do together?

PAUL GEORGE: Don't matter.

Q. You and Kawhi were in a really good groove before the hiatus. Do you feel like it's gotten better since then? Has that helped at all? Better chemistry on the court?

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, it has. Like I said, we visited each other. I went down to where he was at, he came down to where I was at. We spent time together - the whole group did, not just me and him - on occasions the whole group kind of spent time together through the hiatus.

I think we made up a lot of time. While not being together, I think we made all that back up during this hiatus. It kind of expedited this process being here.

Q. If you do get to your goal of playing for an NBA championship almost two months down the road, that means you have been in the bubble one-third of the way. Could you speak to how you understand the team is doing mentally.

PAUL GEORGE: It's tough, it's tough. Especially you calling back home, talking to family. I think what makes it so hard being here is finding the schedule because there's not much stuff to do here. It gets to a point where you've done everything.

I kind of felt at a point my days were running into each other. It was hard to kind of break that up. But I think the biggest thing is just trying to find a schedule, sticking to it. Here and there sprinkle in some different stuff just to make it a little different. I got fished out the second I got here.

It's just coming up with different things to do, different ideas. I think the biggest thing was getting out, getting fresh air, making that an emphasis.


PAUL GEORGE: Appreciate it. Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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