News out of Los Angeles is that Los Angeles Clippers All Star, Kawhi Leonard will miss Monday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Monday’s absence will be Leonard’s third straight game missed. Leonard hasn’t played since suffering a left knee contusion in the second half of the Clippers loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
The Clippers forward hasn’t stepped foot on an NBA court since since suffering a left knee contusion in the second half of the Clippers loss to the Houston Rockets on last week.
In Leonard’s absence, Paul George returned to the lineup after tearing his rotator cuff and having surgery at the end of last season.
Heavy first reported in March that George tore his shoulder in a regular season game against the Denver Nuggets.
Since his return, George has been unstoppable.
In his first two games, George scored 33 points in 24 minutes against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday. George followed that up by posting an impressive 37 points in 20 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
For those keeping score at home: That’s 70 points in 44 minutes!
Can you imagine what can happen when a healthy George and Leonard are on the court together?
That means, no shoulder issues and no load management issues either! That might be scary.
“Again you have two guys that can get it done,” retired NBA player, Tim Thomas told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
Thomas, a former Clipper and current Los Angeles resident was the seventh pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. He played 12 NBA seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers.
A Villanova product and Paterson, New Jersey native, Thomas averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 824 games.
“So they have a lot of veteran pieces that are around understanding and knowing what it takes to win,” said Thomas.
“And then they added the two superstars [Kawhi Leonard and Paul George], anything is possible there. Of course there’s a major difference now with Kawhi but I see that playing the way that it’s going to play out once Paul gets 100% , having two superstars, anything goes because anybody can get hot.”
Entering Monday night’s matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers are in sixth place with an 8-5 record and are currently riding a two-game winning streak.
“I think the Clippers are one of the best watches in the NBA,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
This summer, Leonard signed a three-year, $104 million contract with the Clippers and the Clippers got Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder via trade, the Clippers were a complete team before Leonard and George got to Los Angeles.
ESPN’s Jalen Rose tells me that the Clippers are LA’s ‘B-Team: “Don’t get it twisted, I appreciate what the Clippers and the Nets have done,” Rose told me in October.
“But let’s not act like they’re not the B-teams in their own market. . . What changes that? Winning.”
Don’t get this part twisted: The Clippers are not sole;y dependent upon just Leonard and George as standouts on Doc Rivers’ Clippers roster.
The Clippers also have Lou Williams. Williams is averaging 23 points 4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.
Montrezl Harrell is playing great basketball as well. The 32nd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Louisville University is putting up consistent numbers by averaging 18.2 points and 7 rebounds in his fifth season in Los Angeles.