Clippers’ Paul George sidelined with covid-19 ahead of critical Play-In game vs Pelicans
Its been a tough time for the Clippers and looks set to be even more so, as they now have to look for alternatives against a plucky Pelicans team.
As they prepare for their do or die NBA Play-In Tournament game against the Pelicans, the Clippers will now be without their star.
LA Clippers’ lose star Paul George to covid-19 for Play-In game
According to reports, the Los Angeles Clippers are now set to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, without their star player Paul George after he entered the league’s health and safety protocols as a result of testing positive for covid-19. Needless to say this is a major blow to the Clippers’ hopes as they prepare to fight for a spot in the playoffs when they take on New Orleans this Friday.
In case you’re wondering just how important George is, the power forward posted 34 points in L.A.’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first play-in game on Tuesday. With numbers like that, his contribution can’t be overstated as it is understandably very damaging to the Clippers chances going forward. Should they make it past the Pelicans they will still understandably have to do without George’s help for sometime. Add to that the fact that George actually now joins fellow key player Kawhi Leonard on the unavailable list and the scenario is even worse. Leonard has been out for the season as he tries to recover from a torn ACL. The Clippers are now set to face a Pelicans team that is coming off a strong showing against the San Antonio Spurs this week.
Who will the Clippers depend on with Paul George out?
With George now sidelined, the Clippers will have no choice but to turn to players like Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris. While it is truly an unfortunate loss for the Clippers at a critical moment, they do actually have experience with the situation, having been forced to play a period without George earlier in the season, when he sustained an elbow injury which saw him miss some 48 games. It was in fact during that time, that head coach Tye Lue turned to another player, as he promoted guard Terance Mann to the starting lineup, which some suspect will once again be the case. Then there is also Norman Powell who contributed in the game against the Timberwolves with an impressive 16 points off the bench.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that Lue and the Clippers face a difficult task with the loss of their talisman, but on the other hand it must be said that their are a fair share of players on LA’s roster who can put up decent numbers and let’s not forget, this is a team that has the 8th best defense in the entire league. Without doubt, it’s going to be a rough night without Paul, especially against the likes of CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram who combined for 59 points against the Spurs, but worse teams have beaten better so watch this space! As for George, the big man can only sit and wait at this point as he hopes for a Clippers win which will see them clinch the No. 8 seed and a date with the No. 1 ranked Phoenix Suns in round 1 of the NBA playoffs.