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September 15, 2020

Paul George

Orlando, Florida, USA

Postgame Press Conference

Denver Nuggets 104, LA Clippers 89

Q. Paul, assuming that you guys want to run this back next year, what additions or what changes to the roster would you like to see?

PAUL GEORGE: None. None. First year together. You can't even say we want to change our roster. We like what we got. I mean, we been saying it all year. Just chemistry, being together. The more we can be together, the better we'll be. It's year one. We've got a lot to reflect on. A lot to look at going forward and to get better with.

Q. Just talk about the fourth quarter, what's going through your mind when you saw that things weren't turning?

PAUL GEORGE: They made shots. They made shots. It's been really the tale of the series. They been making shots, playing at a faster pace, you know, and they got free tonight. I thought Jamal got free. Jokic made big plays, kept the ball alive, big rebounds. You know, they play well. They played well to close the game out tonight.

Q. You personally?

PAUL GEORGE: How difficult?

Q. Yeah.

PAUL GEORGE: As they were making shots?

Q. As the fourth quarter was unfolding, I'm sure you were pretty shocked.

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, from my perspective, just keep fighting. Keep fighting. Try to see the ball go down. You know, we kind of got cold in that fourth. All we could do is fight at that point. We tried to get stops. We tried to, you know, force them into turnovers. They did a great job of make through that. They made big plays, big shots, and you know, it just looked like we couldn't get enough stops that we needed.

Q. You talked about the second half and going cold and the frustration from that. Was that compounded by the fact that it happened in game 6, too, almost exactly the same way? Did that cumulatively just build on you guys, the fact that it happened kind of three nights in a row?

PAUL GEORGE: No, I wouldn't say -- you know, I wouldn't necessarily say that. We get the same looks. We've been getting the same shots that we've been getting in the first half all those games. We just as a squad went cold, and on the other side of that, they kept just running their stuff. They kept running in with pace, with speed and getting the looks they want to get. For them, they missed those shots in the first half. We're making ours in the first half, and it's complete opposite in the second half of each of those games.

So I don't think the previous games were wearing on us. Again, we knew we had to win this. It's Game 7. We just went cold as a team.

Q. How is that going to sit with you? Who knows when next season is going to start; knowing that you had the lead three times?

PAUL GEORGE: That hurts. That hurts. It hurts. It hurts. But we move on. You know, again, year one together, first run together. Of course we wanted to win this. But we've been very optimistic about us being together and building something going down the road.

Q. Almost since like you and Kawhi teamed up, all anybody wanted to talk about was how the Lakers and Clippers were the two title favorites and it almost happened. At any point did you guys feel like maybe this was going to happen or felt the pressure to make that happen? And also, how would you assess your first season with Kawhi?

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, it was great. Great first season with Kawhi. You know, still learning, figuring each other out. But I thought we had a great year playing off each other. We can only improve off that. But I mean, it's pressure you want. It's pressure you want. You want that pressure. First time I've been on a team and been considered -- and not be considered an underdog. So it was different, but you want that pressure as a competitor, as a guy that want to compete. You want that pressure. Fact much the matter is, we didn't make it to where we wanted to get to. Tip our hats off to Denver. They played great, and again, all we got to do is look forward to the next one.

Q. So much has happened in the NBA and the adjourn comes to the end and we're asking players to give their last words on the NBA bubble experience?

PAUL GEORGE: Not really sure. Next question.

Q. Lou mentioned that you guys had a quick conversation as a team about looking forward. Can you talk about that? What do you guys tell each other after this experience?

PAUL GEORGE: After the game?

Q. Yeah.

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, we just, you know, stayed positive about it. We stayed positive about it. Again, we tipped our hats off to the opponents. They played good down the stretch. But you know, it hurt as a group. You know, it's not the outcome that we wanted. But we stayed together, regardless. We talked it out. We stayed together in the locker room and again, we kind of knew what this was. It's a team that's, you know, we're looking for the long run, and keep saying it, all we got from here, is to be positive going down -- going forward of what we can be and you know, the team in the future. That's all we have right now, and you know, we're just positive and optimistic about it.

Q. Lou was saying that this season, the chemistry wasn't able to reach its full potential, and talking about changing roles and obviously the long break didn't help. What kept it from reaching its full potential this year and what could you like to see change going into next year?

PAUL GEORGE: I think just adversity. A lot of adversity we dealt with. Rightfully so. You know, guys had to go home for rightful reasons. You know, and we just missed a lot of time being together with injuries in the regular season and inside the bubble.

So we didn't get much time to be together. This was the longest stretch I think that we had played together. But it just wasn't enough, and know, I think in this series, it showed. Denver is a team that been playing together for a long time. When things got rough, when they needed this or needed that, they just know each other. They have been on a string for so long, and I think it showed.

Q. Ever since July 9, Kawhi signed, and then the Clippers traded for you; there's been championship talk. Were expectations too high considering all the new guys and all the guys that had to learn the system? Was it too much but you had to take it on because that was the expectations?

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, I mean, again, it was obvious pressure to live up to the title expectations. But as a player, I mean, you want that. Like you want that. Again, it's the first time I've been in that situation where we're expected to win. But you know, it is what it is. It's no cop out. Fact of the matter is, we didn't live up to that expectation.

But I think internally, we've always felt, this is not a championship-or-bust year for us. You know, we can only get better the longer we stay together and the more we're around each other. More chemistry for it group, the better. I think that's really the tale of the tape of this season. We just didn't have enough time together.

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