2nd Tier Stars Doing 2nd Tier Star Things
RingColluder wrote: og15 wrote:
RingColluder has one thing wrong, the issue isn’t criticizing Paul George. I wouldn’t even call myself a “Paul George fan”, I support him because he’s on the Clippers, but criticism of Paul George means little to me. I’ve even said that at times him opening his mouth brings some of the comments he gets. The issue is if it is so constant and excessive that every game thread somehow morphs into a discussion about Paul George and how he performs in the playoffs.
One of the biggest problems being that there’s not really anything new to say anymore. Paul George is not a highly consistent player when it comes to scoring. Paul George is much more liable to have an atrocious shooting game than tier #1 stars.
Basically any team he is on has to know this, and has to be prepared for it. The coaching staff should have a plan for his bad shooting nights that isn’t simply shooting himself out of it, but of course having a plan doesn’t mean it will work or will be executed as it should be.
If we wanted to be criticize our other star too, Kawhi has had issues himself with what people might call choking, but because he’s won championships, we don’t mention it.
When the Clippers beat the Spurs in 2015, Kawhi averaged 14 ppg on 30% FG / 20% 3PT in games 5-7 after averaging 25 ppg on 60% FG / 56% 3PT in games 1-4. Clippers won games 6 and 7 by 6 and 2 points, if Kawhi didn’t massively suck offensively in those last two games, the Spurs would have won that series. The Clippers atrocious bench and lack of depth should not have beat the Spurs, even with how well CP and BG played, Kawhi’s performance in the closing games is what opened up the opportunity.
In 15-16 vs OKC, Spurs won game 1 in a blowout fashion, then lost in 6 games, including losing the last three. Kawhi in those last 5 games had 3 bad/inefficient games and two efficient games. Overall his TS% in the last 5 games of the series was 51.5%. They lost the last three games, Kawhi averaged 50.5 TS% / 23 ppg / 7 rpg / 3.7 apg / 4.0 spg / 44% FG / 17% 3PT. He contributed in other areas, but his scoring used up a lot of possessions, and his efficiency was very poor.
In 16-17, he was on a roll until he got injured.
18-19 he helped the Raptors to a championship.
Last season, he had to carry Paul George past the first round. Second round vs Denver, he had that bad game 2 performance, then games 6 and 7 his second halves were nothing but atrocious (3/10 = 11 pts, 1/11 = 2 pts), and game 7 was trash altogether. He’s much more consistent than PG, but he’s had his up and down moments too, seemingly more on a seasons by season run basis, it’s just not really acknowledged or even known by most people
That’s how it is though, body of work will tend to cover up deficiencies unless you are a player who has a large amount of supporters and therefore haters also and so they will find every flaw, every bad stretch, etc. This is not to hate on Kawhi, if we look, all players, even the most revered will have some series’ that didn’t go so well or some stretches of games in a series that they just didn’t come through. No one talks about Bird having 19 pts / 6-15 in game 5 and 12 pts / 5-19 in games 6 vs Philly in 1980 or averaging 18 ppg / 41% FG vs Philly in 82, etc.
Paul George is not going to become something he isn’t, but at least what the Clippers need from him is #1, don’t have the worst playoffs of his career like he did last season, #2, be consistent enough, enough is the key word. We’re not going to get Lebron 75-80% individual production consistency from Paul George, that’s just living in fantasy, even Kawhi would have a hard time with that. What we can’t have is 4 bad games in a 7 game series for example, and since last season was the only time that’s happened for him, I’d say we shouldn’t. The question is when the inevitable 1-2 bad-atrocious efficiency games will happen in a series, and if he can give enough other impact and the rest of team can do enough when he has a below average though not terrible game.
"Paul George is not a highly consistent player when it comes to scoring. Paul George is much more liable to have an atrocious shooting game than tier #1 stars" - This is a horrifying admission and the critical error in his ENTIRE game. We cannot give a max player a contract then like this, straight up. A max player should bring us closer to a championship not stile our cap space and make our odds of winning even shakier (even if its w a supposed higher ceiling).
And you're talking about Kawhi from 6 years ago. That's ridiculous. Kawhi has grown tremendously since then, that's the whole point of why he's considered one of the best in the game today. Paul George has regressed. Similar ages, and yet totally different stories. You're really talking about something from 6 years ago AND still choosing to ignore his monster series's against the Heat. There's a reason LeBron feared Kawhi even in the early parts of his career. He has never had that fear of PG.
And again, we're talking about a similar point from the GT. The REASON Kawhi played poorly in the later games is bc of Paul George's atrocious foul trouble. That doesn't show up on the box score but had he just played defense and used smart BBIQ (which he consistently fails to do INCLUDING in the last game) Kawhi doesn't have the issue. Kawhi played on teams with tremendous BBIQ w the Spurs and Raptors. He's getting exposed bc his max player counterpart is failing to do so.
You can find games and series where LeBron, KD and Steph Curry all "choked" too.. the bottom line is they won when they needed too and more often than not came up clutch. Just like Kawhi. Paul George is the total opposite of it. Quake Griffin had a remarkable post on it if people hadn't read it yet earlier in the thread...
And yes the issue is CONSISTENCY. Even less than that, NOT PLAYING ATROCIOUSLY IN THE PLAYOFFS. Kawhi has proven 3 times with 3 different rosters (less-so the Spurs I suppose) he can adjust and do it w virtually any sorts of teammates... Paul George has had the same type of opportunities and consistently failed to do so with 4 consecutive first round exits. That's not leadership, that's clownery.
The only thing Paul George is consistent at is being inconsistent. Your admission at the top of the post is why there's a conflict. As someone looking to win a CHAMPIONSHIP, "Paul George is not a highly consistent player when it comes to scoring. Paul George is much more liable to have an atrocious shooting game than tier #1 stars" is UNACCEPTABLE.
Well, yea, this is why Paul George is a tier 2 star and not a tier 1 star. Initial expectations seem to be a factor. This is only a massive problem if you thought he was a higher tier of player, if not, this is nothing surprising. Tier 2 stars in the NBA are still max players, because that is how the NBA salary cap structure works out. I always see fans talking about max contracts as it if is this holy grail reserved for top 5-7 players, but isn't at all. The NBA salary structure means that we're going to have around 20+ max contract level players (not all will qualify for the highest max due to years of experience). The Max Salary Confusion
Currently in the NBA there are:
40 players making $27+ million
22 players making $30+ million
14 players making $34+ million
Even some guys that could be considered tier 3 stars will get max contracts. Most teams are incapable of getting two tier 1 stars, the lucky teams that do are getting a bargain for the amount of impact/production.
Most teams, including contenders will have one tier 1 star and then either a tier 2 and/or 3 star alongside them.
Paul George this season is making $35.5 million, his contract is within $3 million of Klay Thompson ($35.4), Mike Conley ($34.5), Kemba Walker ($34.3), Tobias Harris ($34.3), Khris Middleton ($33.0). I'm not here to discuss or argue whether any of those guys are better or worse, the point is that there is nothing out of the ordinary or worthy of complaining about Paul George having a max contract.
You can even go down $5-6 million from his contract, because if you got a player making $6 million less than PG, that $6 million is on average not going to get you anything to make your team much better than having Paul George and $6 million less in salary space. In the $29 million range, you're looking at guys like Wiggins, Adams, Siakam, Love, McCollum, etc.Inconsistency is the name of the game for tier 2/3 starshttps://www.theringer.com/nba/2020/1/6/21050900/most-least-consistent-nba-player
The reason a player is a 2nd option on a contender is due to their lack of production consistency.
Code: Select all
NBA All-Star Consistency Since 2017-18
Player Games Retained Production
LeBron James 171 60.2%
Giannis Antetokounmpo 181 59.2%
Kevin Durant 146 58.6%
Kawhi Leonard 97 57.0%
James Harden 184 56.4%
Anthony Davis 163 55.3%
DeMarcus Cousins 78 54.8%
Damian Lillard 187 53.2%
Joel Embiid 156 52.9%
Stephen Curry 122 51.8%
Ben Simmons 194 50.4%
Jimmy Butler 155 50.3%
Russell Westbrook 184 50.2%
Nikola Vucevic 160 49.5%
Karl-Anthony Towns 182 49.5%
Kyrie Irving 137 48.7%
Nikola Jokic 190 48.6%
Andre Drummond 190 47.4%
Bradley Beal 195 46.8%
DeMar DeRozan 191 46.4%
LaMarcus Aldridge 188 46.2%
Paul George 181 45.4%
Khris Middleton 189 44.9%
Kyle Lowry 168 44.7%
Blake Griffin 151 44.5%
Kevin Love 107 44.1%
Kemba Walker 192 43.9%
Victor Oladipo 110 43.7%
Al Horford 173 43.7%
John Wall 73 42.9%
Draymond Green 163 41.6%
Kristaps Porzingis 78 41.3%
Klay Thompson 151 40.3%
Goran Dragic 134 32.2%
D'Angelo Russell 150 31.7%
I'll just use recent teams, but you can go back further, and I'll tell you this, hindsight, and the teams having already won can also tend to make people then explain away or rationalize how one poor performance was not as poor, but it's simply hindsight and winning bias.Siakam
for example was on the Raptors championship team, he had a lot of poor and even tragic games in the playoffs, but the Raptors had a tier 1 star (Kawhi), a tier 2 star (Lowry), and a tier 3 star (Siakam), and a lot of good complimentary players. So when Siakam has 9 points and 2/10 FG vs Philly they still win. When he has 11 pts on 4/11 FG in Game 7 vs Philly, they still win. When he averages 14.5 ppg on 40% FG / 25% 3PT vs #1 seed Milwaukee who was 8-1 going into that series, they still win in 6 games, despite games of (15 pts, 6/20 FG | 8 pts, 4/9 FG | 14 pts, 5/15 FG ). They won in the finals, and he had a nice game 6, but game 2 he has 12 pts, 5/18 FG and game 5, 12 pts, 6/15 FG. Klay Thompson
in 2015, he's the Warriors 2nd option. 10/22 games his TS% is 50.1% or lower, and 6/22 games it was 44% or lower. in the last 4 games of the 2015 finals averaged 10 ppg on 37/26. The Warriors won because they had elite defense, another tier 2-ish star impact player in Green, and a high impact complimentary player in Iguodala, etc.Kyrie
is immortalized for his big shot in 2016 vs the Warriors. In 2017 playoffs, he was basically inefficient in about half of the games he played. The Cavs played 18 playoffs games, his eFG% was under 50% in 9/18 games, and under 40% in 5/18 games. Giving him the benefit of FTA's and FTM, is TS% was under 53.5% in 9/18 games and under 45% in 5/18 games.
These are all levels of consistency that Paul George can and has attained, and actually some even worse than what Paul George has done (outside of last season) and all those players mentioned were able to be second scorers on championship teams. The Clippers of course unlike some of those other teams don't have that other tier 2 or 3 star player (Green, Love, Kyrie, etc). Even the Lakers with two tier 1 stars last season, ended up getting somewhat tier 3 star like impact from Rondo in order to get them to the win. Expectations impact reactions
My point here is that Paul George's contract, and even his consistency as a scoring option is not anything abnormal for a tier 2 star. The Lakers for example have two tier 1 stars, they are a lucky one. The Warriors with Curry and Durant had two tier 1 stars (+Klay and Draymond). The Nets have two tier 1 stars (Harden and Durant) and 1 tier 2 star in Kyrie. Milwaukee previously had one tier 1 star (Giannis) and one tier 3 (maybe 2.5) star (Middleton) plus role players, but now they have added another tier 3, maybe 2.5 star in Holiday. Denver last season beat the Clippers with a tier 1 star, and a co-star in Jamal Murray that is equally as inconsistent as Paul George.
An issue for a lot of Clippers fans could be that they were expecting tier 1 star level of production, impact and consistency from Paul George. I personally never really saw Paul George as a tier 1 star, so it's not really hitting me the same way for someone who might have done so. Last season I gave him leeway for the playoffs like I've said, since it was an extreme outlier in terms of bad production compared to his career, and there were different circumstances.The pairing causes a greater playmaking burden on the rest of the roster than pairings with top playmakers
Of course part of the issue that Paul George and Kawhi as a pairing suffer from is that neither is a top level playmaker. They are both good and capable passers, and in different ways, but neither can (or should) have an offense run through them as the scorer and primary shot creator for others. This means that with this combination, you have a greater burden for additional playmaking than you would have if your tier 1 star was Lebron, Harden, Doncic, Curry, etc, or your tier 2/3 star was Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Westbrook etc, guys who can carry a lot of playmaking. Someone like Lebron who can carry playmaking complained about not enough playmaking on a team that had him and Kyrie Irving, so how much more on other teams?