That LA Clippers would be without Paul George for at least two more games as he continues to have swelling in his right toe, coach Ty Lue said Tuesday.
George will not join the team in two road swing games through Minnesota and Chicago, which kick off Wednesday with a bout against the Timberwolves.
George has missed the last two games and is trying to relieve the swelling at the fingertips. He can be re-evaluated as early as Saturday.
“Stay home and be cared for,” Lue said of George. “And we’ll re-evaluate it when we get back.”
The Clippers could have hurt the starting point guard Patrick Beverley back as soon as Wednesday against the Timberwolves. Beverley, who has missed the last eight games with right knee pain, was raised to be questionable for the game.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are back, and the Clippers are very happy.
The Clippers did a pretty good job with Kawhi and Paul crashing out, being 1-1 in two very close matches. “I think they really put it together,” said George. “They play for each other.” Upon their return, the duo did an even better job of picking up where they left off.
The Clippers are very fortunate that Kawhi and George did not test positive for COVID-19, and they only missed two games. It could be much worse, and much more terrifying.
“Very relieved,” said George. “We are both healthy, first and foremost. We played very well, it’s a shame we had to take the break, but safety is first.”
While the Clippers lost just one game during Kawhi and George’s absence, their seven-match winning streak was halted. They responded by immediately winning two games in a row, winning nine of their last ten.
“I mean, it’s sad because we are in a good position,” said Kawhi Leonard. “That’s my mindset. Just want to play basketball, and want to keep building our chemistry and getting better. But you know what, we understand what the protocol is and it’s an opportunity for people to step up and play a bigger role. “
It was an unfortunate circumstance, but one of the luckiest results for the LA Clippers.
Going into 2021, you will be struggling to find any player who has faced more pressure this season than Paul George. There may be a handful of talents around the league under personal pressure for a richer contract in the next offseason, but none have been placed under the same kind of microscope as George.
Go ahead and upgrade that to the Clippers as a whole. The organization, the roster, the coaching staff and everyone involved will be subject to the most scrutiny of any team in the NBA as the calendar moves into the new year. They also can’t hide or run from him, as it all started with how they ended their first year with George and Kawhi Leonard as title favorites.
Evaporating into thin air as fast as they did in Game 7 versus Denver during the second round – well, actually, in the last three games – was a cause for such concern. Every time they lost in front of a national television audience this year, whether it was a past fifty seconds or a last-second buzzerbeater, the criticism would be much harsher than the first year. And those comments will last for days, until they fix them.
The regular season statement win won’t be in 2021 for the Clippers. They recognize it internally. Even if George and co did well in various battles across Western Conference games, they understood that any high-profile defeat would act as a referendum on their off season and team construction. That’s what will happen until they live up to their high expectations in May, June, and maybe July.
While there is nothing George physically can do at this point to release the monkey, at least in terms of his national perceptions, he does not overlook how valuable this process of growth throughout the regular season is. With a new coaching staff, three new sections in the main rotation, and an even greater emphasis on ball movement, each team member should use the regular season to build stronger habits. The number one factor that haunted them in the playoffs was the lack of consistent reps during the last regular season.
With George not restricted from starting this year’s schedule, compared to last November when he had to lighten his workload due to shoulder surgery and recovery, there is a clear sense of how important this early season game will be. Even if results don’t really matter to head coach Ty Lue until then, they should use all 72 games this regular season as stepping stones for their future goals.
As usual, we’re dealing with small sample sizes here until there’s more than a month of gaming in the bag. However, George has only played 154 minutes to start this season. Scoring 112 points during that time, he averaged 26.2 points per 36 minutes – a figure identical to his scoring production last season.
He currently leads the Clippers in passes made per 36 minutes of action with 46.1, which is a solid jump from his 36.0 passes per 36 minutes last year. As expected, that coincided with an increase in his assist numbers on the same minute scale – if he maintained his current assist average (6.5 per 36 minutes) it would be a career high.
Once again … the five game data is nothing to be afraid of. That goes for either end of the spectrum, good or bad.
Still, it’s possible to admit how efficient a player is starting their new season – especially when it’s the player that attracts the most internet memes and has been on the back end of a lot of jokes over the past few months.
In the 154 minutes to start the 2020-21 season, George has taken 38 three-pointer. This translates to 8.9 attempts per 36 minutes, which is slightly lower than the level from last year (9.7). In general, his shot volume has retreated a bit in these first few games, which was probably a by-product of the Clippers that put Nic Batum, Luke Kennard and Serge Ibaka into the rotation. As mentioned earlier, George has expressed how much he wants to move the ball faster this year and help produce a better shot distribution for the whole team.
With a slight drop in offensive volume, the score hasn’t dropped due to how deadly he looks from all areas of the floor:
In five games, George has 18 match three, shooting at a 47.4% clip. In the paint (rim and float combined), she’s turning 13 of 19 to start the season. His weakest area as a goalscorer last year was undoubtedly the short range mid-range and pull-up long. History shows that he will cool down those types of shots as time passes.
Of the 38 attempts from outside the line, 18 of them came in the form of catch and shoot opportunities. The other 20 are the pull-up (or, off-the-dribble) variety.
The most significant observation after five games is how high his three-point trial ratio is compared to what we’ve seen from him in the past. Of his total 72 shots, 52.8% came from inside. Up to this point in his career George had never had a season in which he attempted more than three times. Last year, he actually approached the distribution of 48.7% out of three.
If George swaps his many inefficient bail-out mid-rangers, which he likes in OKC and Indiana, for more treys, it elevates the Clippers palate as an offensive machine.
For most of George’s 20 off-the-dribble attempts out of three, he’s been assisted by Ivica Zubac’s consistent and effective screening. They are in the second year of a successful partnership due to Zubac’s sifting angle, which allows George to break free. Because of George’s length and size, it was a terror when he was paired with Zubac:
In the semi-transition, where George appears to have fired most of the three in this five-match sample, the PG-Zubac duo make it very difficult for defenders to stick with George. That’s partly because, most of the time, defender Zubac is too focused on getting back on his side’s defense.
At the time it became known that George was off the screen, defender Zubac was still on his way back to paint. That drag screen action will be used a lot by Ty Lue and the Clippers as the season progresses, especially if George is being chased down by an elite or unlucky defender. Once George’s men were buried by Zubac, who averaged 6.8 screen assists per 36 minutes, there wasn’t much time to close before George let him fly.
While George did not acknowledge the increased use of his transition weapon this year, he did note how he and Zubac tried to pair up more and more as the season progressed.
“I think it’s just about finding opportunities (with Zubac),” said George. “Pick-and-roll, shot out of there. Playing pick-and-roll is what I love the most. You know, I think it’s only finding connections when we get to the drama. “
George also makes sure he strikes drop coverage whenever he shows it. That’s evident after five games, with drop coverage centers such as Montrezl Harrell, Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkić, Enes Kanter (god, help him), and the collection of Minnesota front pitches he’s faced so far:
I’m not sure why anyone would volunteer to enter a drop scheme when George pops around the screen – especially if it’s a strong screen – based on how well he shoots with pull-ups.
The idea was to push mid-range jumpers and get them off the line, but the defensive problem faced was the inability to get past Zubac and Serge Ibaka to ‘push’ George into mid-range. If the opposing guards could not fully get around the screen, George was long and tall enough that the small rearview mirror contest wouldn’t affect him.
The Clippers are also showing early signs of making George look the better of a weak act. While he didn’t particularly like it being a big part of his use of his score last season, it would still be very efficient if they could get him flying into the open space of a screen that staggered like this:
Another form of the Clippers’ creative move was seen in the win over Minnesota, including the fine stunt below.
Look at these parallels and how perfect it was for Zubac to free his shooter from the ball. George starts the game on the right elbow, with Lou Williams at the top of the bow and Zubac on the opposite elbow:
George haunted (or slipped) the ball screen aimed at Williams, who froze his defender momentarily. Then, if need be, Zubac is there for the flare screen to keep George three wide open. Missed shots, but this is part of some new offensive process we’re seeing for the Clippers.
As the years progress, Lue may want George to try his luck with more threes. Elite shooters usually don’t come with their physique and smooth movements, unless they’re named Kevin Durant.
He could even start taking two or three more shots per game. In transition, if he sees his defenders pull back with their legs finally sagging to the elbows, that’s a clear opening for practice or a triple warm-up at the break. Again, he’s missing this one, but it will be interesting to see if he adds more of this to his volume in 2021:
George became the easiest and most attractive target for the fans at the end of the season. His comments on the “All The Smoke” podcast aren’t helpful either. But, sometimes in sports, we tend to ignore how skilled players are – even if they underperform in the postseason.
There’s a long list of people who haven’t broken through the gates of the Conference Finals in their careers and had chilling or forgotten playoff moments. Paul George has been the one fans will always be waiting to ridicule for. Until she wrote a story that was different from her appearance, it was just something she had to live with.
The Clippers are counting on their change of style, new recruits and a complete change of attitude to be the difference makers when the time comes to make amends for their playoff defeat.
“I’m happy that everyone is consciously trying to get better, thinking about the game more, putting in effort, giving praise throughout the game, even if we are going down or up,” said Kawhi Leonard after Wednesday’s win. . “That’s what we need. Like I said, I just want us to be a better basketball team in the aspect of sharing and enjoying each other’s game. “
With Paul George in this kind of groove, the Clippers can celebrate the new year with a lot of optimism.
“Qax in his way,” the coach of the clippers said in a call-zoom with reporters on Friday before practice. “You should arrive here this evening.”
Leonard I didn’t go with “clippers” on the departure of the team on Wednesday when he was released from the team, usually a family matter, according to the source. Rivers also said a few “guys”, whom he did not name, also on their way to Florida after not being able to travel with the team.
The clippers closed their command, the object out of caution after it was tested positive for the coronavirus among his companions, ESPN’s Adrian wojnarowski reported on 2 July. Any player arriving on their own will have the quarantine on campus in Orlando for two days.
The clippers (44-20) held their first practice on Friday after the season ended in March because of pandemic coronavirus. Paul George said break, only helped to strengthen the Challenger.
Several clippers, such as George … who entered the season recovering from surgery on both shoulders — took advantage of the break to heal nagging injuries and to give them “what we need.”
“Indeed, I had some complexes, to start the season,” said George, who averaged 21 points and 5.7 rebounds in 42 games this season. “I had uncertainty throughout the season just because I’m not all the time 100 [percent]. Shoulder didn’t feel 100. All waited and hoped, believing in the doctors that they told me was going to come to this point where I feel great, no problems with the shoulder.
“All season, until maybe a month or two ago, I always do shoulder rehab stuff, warming the shoulders. Just went to things I had to do before I actually took the foot on the floor. Now I feel wonderful again … again back to yourself.”
George admitted that he had some “mixed feelings” initially about returning to play would distract from the current lives of blacks matter movement and protests against police brutality and social injustice in the country. Teammate Lou Williams said that for several weeks before the restart of the League that he was “50-50” about the game and potentially taking away from the protests.
“He was on a roller coaster, should we play or not,” said George. “I think in the end, as young African-Americans we have an incredible opportunity to use our voices. I don’t think it’s taking away, starting in the League. I don’t think that is taking away that important issues in our world. We can still solve these more than we did before with our platform.”
“… Attention to us,” he added. “We are opening a backup copy of the sports world. With this alone, we should have more than enough opportunities to get our message and our moments.”
Deep and experienced clippers arrived in Florida as a contender for the championship, and rivers told the players to exit the bus at their hotel on Wednesday.
“The message we are on a mission,” rivers said he told the team in the bus. “We were deployed. Nothing could distract us. We are not going to complain.
“We are here and that’s all. That is our message. This is a business trip for us.”