The Pacers lost another tough game to the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night and are now down 0-2 in this opening round playoff series. Following the game Pacers star Paul George was critical of another teammate, this time it was Lance Stephenson. George said Lance needs to work on controlling his emotions and body language as it can have a negative impact on the team. “He’s got to learn to control himself and be in the moment.”
You may remember that George was critical of teammate CJ Miles following the game one loss, saying that he [George] needed to be the one to take the last shot, and Miles had to get the ball back to him.
This has been a trying season for George in Indiana. He has voiced his displeasure with the direction of the organization and has not been shy about stating his desires to fully explore his free agency in 2018. George is an LA guy and the talk has been around him joining the Lakers.
For now, George is a Pacer and as the leader on this team he needs to focus on what he can do to help his team win. You can’t quibble with his on the court play, he is playing well in these first two games. Averaging 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists. But this type of public criticism of his teammates is not helpful. As a leader and a star player he needs to be able to handle issues with his teammates behind closed doors. George is an experienced vet, he knows how to answer media questions without criticizing teammates. This will not be helpful for the Pacers locker room dynamic. Chemistry and cohesion are critical for successful teams.
This could also hurt George’s free agent aspirations. If he continues, other players around the league will take notice and he will start developing a negative reputation. Something no player wants when they hit free agency.
Watch the video of George’s postgame comments courtesy of ESPN.