After finishing 8th seed in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers heavily depended upon the likes of Paul George to inspire the team in the absence of Kawhi Leonard. But the Minnesota Timberwolves were able to get the better of Clippers in the last quarter of their play-in contest, to send them in an eliminator against New Orleans Pelicans.
Given the form of CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram and other players, Clippers were expected to throw the kitchen sink at the opposition with Paul George firing on all cylinders. But unfortunately, the 31-year-old has been ruled out of the particular contest as he has entered the NBA Health and Safety Protocol as revealed by a team’s spokesperson on Thursday.
Paul George to miss Pelicans clash
Dennis Rogers revealed that Paul George is unavailable for the elimination game at Crypto.com Arena.
“We feel really bad for Paul and hope for a speedy recovery,” Lawrence Frank, president of basketball operations, said in confirming George’s status for the elimination game at Crypto.com Arena as quoted by Fox Sports.
George’s absence is a huge blow to the Clippers’ hopes of making the playoffs. They must win to earn the No. 8 seed and a first-round matchup with the Phoenix Suns. Talking statistically scored 34 points in a 109-104 loss at Minnesota on Tuesday in the first play-in game. That defeat cost the Clippers the No. 7 seed and a first-round matchup against resilient Memphis Grizzlies.
Now with Paul George out of the contest, the likes of Reggie Jackson, Robert Covington, Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris Sr. need to deliver at all cost. That being said, PG13 has missed a total of 43 games (straight) in the 2021-22 season. Moreover, he played in just 31 of 82 regular-season games this season, and the Clippers went 18-13 in those games. Without George, LA put together a 24-27 record, just a notch below .500. Will the Clippers secure the team’s run into the playoffs? Remains to be seen.