Paul George Comments on Kawhi Leonard's Injury: 'No Surprise'

Clippers Adjust Strategy Amid Leonard's Injury Absence

by Nouman Rasool
Paul George Comments on Kawhi Leonard's Injury: 'No Surprise'
© Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers, after a challenging start to the 2023-24 NBA season, seem to have hit their stride, overcoming initial skepticism surrounding the integration of James Harden into their lineup. The team's fortunes took a positive turn when coach Ty Lue decided to shift Harden to point guard, a move that has sparked a significant upturn in their performances.

Currently, they stand as one of the league's teams, boasting an impressive record of eight wins in their last ten games.

Clippers Cope Without Leonard

Despite this resurgence, the Clippers have been navigating through the absence of their star player, Kawhi Leonard, who has missed the last four games due to a hip injury sustained against the Dallas Mavericks.

Leonard's prolonged absence fueled concerns over the severity of his injury, but teammate Paul George recently offered a reassuring perspective. In a post-game interview, George emphasized that Leonard's recovery was progressing as expected.

"We know it’s gonna take some time for Kawhi to get back into the lineup… It’s not something that’s surprising going into the game or going into shootaround. We gotta hold it down for when he comes back," George stated, signaling the team's readiness to compensate for Leonard's temporary absence.

George further downplayed the gravity of Leonard's injury, commenting, "He’s looking good, looking better and better. But, again, we know it’s not that serious." This positive update comes at a crucial time for the Clippers, who are making a strong case for themselves in the highly competitive Western Conference and eyeing a guaranteed playoff berth.

Their ability to maintain their current form could be pivotal in determining their success this season. Since acquiring Leonard and George in 2019, the Clippers have grappled with unmet expectations, partly due to recurring injuries plaguing their key players.

However, this season appears different. With Leonard and George largely free from persistent injuries and the addition of Harden providing a significant boost in playmaking, the Clippers have emerged as a formidable force. Their offense, currently ranked eighth in the league with an offensive rating of 118.2, demonstrates their capability to contend for the title.

Yet, the shadow of past seasons, where injuries derailed their championship aspirations, looms over the Clippers. The question remains: can they sustain their current momentum and avoid the pitfalls of injuries to secure the coveted 2024 NBA title? Only time will tell if the Clippers can rewrite their narrative and capture the championship glory that has eluded them so far.

Paul George Kawhi Leonard Clippers