The Los Angeles Clippers post a 9-5 record so far this season. The team has been working relentlessly and have overcome many challenges in order to earn their nine victories. For the first 11 games of the season, their star small forward Paul George was out due to surgery in both of his shoulders. Upon his return their super star Kawhi Leonard suffered a left knee contusion landing him on the bench for the past three consecutive games. Due to both of those road blocks, Clippers fans have yet to see their dynamic duo share the court.
The anticipation to see both Leonard and George play together is intense. The team has put on solid performances without their two star players, foreshadowing what’s to come when both do play at the same time. With both players on the court, the team poses a serious threat to their competitors as they are legitimate title contenders. After Monday night’s victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 90-88, George commented on how dangerous the team will be when Leonard returns.
“You can’t shrink the floor when you got me, Lou [Williams], Kawhi, Trezz,” George said per ESPN. “You just can’t shrink the floor. There is no way that guys can take themselves out of the play defensively and try to face-guard. You just can’t do that because Lou, Kawhi or myself — whoever is getting that type of defense — we are going to pick you apart and make plays offensively.”
George’s Big Return
George made his big season debut last Thursday on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans. PG has yet to disappoint the fans as he has already set two franchise records. First, he scored 30-plus points in his first two games back which no other Clippers player has done before, then according to CBS Sports, he scored 37 points in 20 minutes during his first game at home, which set a new franchise record for a home game debut.
George continues to be an unstoppable force on the court. Though PG-13 didn’t score as many points in last night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, it was his clutch go-ahead three pointer that won the game. Not only did his last minute three edge the Clippers over OKC, but it also put him at 4 go-ahead three pointers in the final 30 seconds which is twice more than any other NBA player.
In the past people have criticized the six-time All Star for not being able to hit game winning shots. After his clutch three, George addressed the criticism.
“You know, there was a big thing about [how I] can’t make it to win games,” George said per ESPN. “That stuff doesn’t bother me. I am out there to play hard and to win games. I feel confident in every shot that I take. It’s up to me to make it or miss it. That type of stuff don’t bother me.”
Kawhi Leonard: Left Knee Contusion
Kawhi Leonard has sat out in the last three consecutive games and five games overall due to a left knee contusion or AKA “load management.” Though no one knows when Leonard will take the court, there doesn’t seem to be too much concern.
Per USA Today Sports Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said, “There’s no concern. It’s day-to-day.”
Leonard has suffered knee pain since his times with the San Antonio Spurs. Due to his injury, Leonard is on a load management schedule in order to to keep him healthy for the post season. During last Wednesday night’s loss to the Houston Rockets, Leonard played a season high of 41-minutes. Rivers said this led to increased pain in his knee the following day. Since then, Rivers has sidelined Leonard in order to allow his knee to heal.
Tomorrow night the Clippers host the Boston Celtics at 7 p.m. Per Mirjam Swanson of OC Register, the Clippers game notes listed Leonard as “questionable” for tomorrow night’s game. The game notes do not mention George. Until further notice or until the official injury report is released, fans will have to wait and see if the Clippers plan to unveil their dynamic duo against the Celtics.