Clippers must assess support for Kawhi Leonard, Paul George after disastrous play-in week – The Athletic

LOS ANGELES — The LA Clippers’ 105-101 play-in loss to the New Orleans Pelicans is a bitter pill to swallow, and it will be a long time before they make it back into the postseason.

Unlike last season’s Golden State Warriors, another team that lost two play-in games and missed the postseason with a winning record, the Clippers don’t even get a lottery pick. Last year’s Warriors had two lottery picks, but the 2022 Clippers’ first-round pick is wholly owned by the Oklahoma City Thunder as a result of the 2019 Paul George trade, a deal made to earn the 2019 NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, back up.

Friday’s early 2021-22 final for the Clippers was the epitome of their entire season. It featured a difficult early hole, an exciting comeback and an ultimate disappointment that left observers wondering what might have happened if things had turned out differently.

Ten months after Leonard suffered a partial cruciate ligament rupture in the 2021 postseason, he was on the bench with the Pelicans in town on Friday. That’s more than what could be allowed for the team’s other star, Paul George, as he was added to the league’s health and safety protocols on Friday. The team then ruled out shooting guard Luke Kennard after a soreness in his right hamstring had worsened six days earlier in a meaningless regular-season final against the Thunder.

https://theathletic.com/3253315/2022/04/16/clippers-need-to-evaluate-the-support-for-kawhi-leonard-paul-george-after-disastrous-play-in-week/?source=rss Clippers must assess support for Kawhi Leonard, Paul George after disastrous play-in week – The Athletic

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