ESPN- "Following Indiana's 117-111 loss Monday to fall down 0-2 in the first-round series with the Cavs, George aimed at both Lance Stephenson and Myles Turner.
Stephenson -- signed to a three-year deal late in the regular season and a major reason Indiana is in the postseason in the first place, with the Pacers going 6-1 after he was added to the team -- had a plus/minus of minus-7 in five minutes in the third quarter when Cleveland took control of the game.
"He's got to learn to control himself and be in the moment," George said. "Lance, in our locker room, is looked upon as a leader. His body language has to improve -- just for the team. We all know that Lance is an emotional guy. A lot of it is his heart and his competitiveness. That emotion comes out of him. He's got to channel that toward making effort plays on the court and doing whatever he needs for us to succeed..."
George also wanted to see more out of Turner, the Pacers' second-year center, who finished with six points on 3-for-10 shooting, five rebounds and three blocks in Game 2 after averaging 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game in the regular season.
"We just need him to challenge Tristan [Thompson], keep him off the boards," George said of the 21-year-old Turner. "He needs to make himself available down low in the post. He needs to know at this point he has to take it to the next level. We'll continue to work with him.
"I've been in his ear all the way up until this point -- you know, that next step. And growth for him. In this league, you've got to find it. He's still young. He's still learning, so it's a good thing. We're going to work with him."
I really didn't want to say this because Paul George is going to be a Laker within the next 2 years, but boy is this guy a loser. As if what he said after game one wasn't unfair enough, now he decides to continue to publicly come after his teammates. If he wants to rip his guys in the locker room that's fine and I encourage that, after all his teammates do suck. With that being said he can't just openly rip his teammates to the media, those are your boys that you go to war with, to throw them to the dogs to eviscerate, is a cowardly move. You call yourself a leader, that's hilarious, leaders don't criticize and blame teammates after every game they lose in the playoffs. Blaming guys like Lance Stephenson who has been on the team for like two weeks, how ridiculous is that, what kind of expectations do you have for the guy he was unsigned for a reason. Blame management for putting together a trash roster, not the trash roster for being trash. His criticisms were fair, however public humiliation was not the right move.
The team on the other side of the court has there fair share of problems as well. The Cavaliers are playing pretty pathetic right now. Once again they have a huge lead going into the fourth quarter and almost blow it. No idea why Kyrie, K Love, and Lebron can't close out games anymore, but it's unacceptable, and needs to be addressed immediately. With all that being said you don't see Lebron coming out and saying Kyle Korver needs to stop missing every shot he takes and JR Smith can't play defense. No, he address the issues the TEAM are having, doesn't throw individuals to the wolves, and then tries to fix in-house. That's what real leaders do.
Pacers are a seven seed and are in competitive games against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, that's not something you should be ashamed of. If anything the Pacers are exceeding expectations from fans in this first round matchup. It's hard to win road playoff games, especially when the other team has Lebron James. Take a chill pill Paul, it's not your time and if you're upset with your team you talk to Larry Bird about it. If Larry Bird doesn't give you what you want just leave when your contract is up. Don't ruin relationships with your teammates and create this image for yourself that you're just a bad guy to have leading a franchise. Paul George needs to pull it together, continue to ball the fuck out, and just let the cards fall where they may.
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Djack- Chief editor