Los Angles Clippers are 13-12 through the first 25 games, roughly a quarter of the NBA season, all without there star Kawhi Leonard. Paul George has a team leading 25 PPG and is keeping the Clippers afloat while Kawhi Leonard is still rehabbing a knee injury suffered in last years playoff run. Ivica Zubac has played all 25 of those games and has put forth the productivity the Clippers are looking for from the center. Clippers have had some ugly looking loses to some of the lower tier teams in the league. This includes losses to the Sacramento Kings twice in one week. Clippers got beat by 19 points to a New Orlean Pelicans team that is without Zion Williamson. The Clippers did string together a 7-game win streak that included wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves three times, Trailblazers, Miami Heat, and the Charlotte Hornets.
Rest of League
Hovering around .500 basketball until Kawhi Leonard returns might not be the best option for the Clippers though. The Phoenix Suns (19-4) and Golden State Warriors(20-4) are playing really good basketball. The Warriors look to get better with Klay Thomson coming back sooner than later and Chris Paul is still leading the young core of Suns to a bright future. The Lakers find themselves hovering around .500 and need to find their Health and flow on the court.
A bright spot for the Clippers has been Luke Kennard so far. Luke Kennard is averaging 28 minutes a game and putting up a respectful 10.6 per game. Kennard recently got moved into a starting role in the recent win against the Portland TrailBlazers. Luke Kennard is shooting a at 46% field goal percentage which is impressive. Reggie Jackson is still that guy getting 16.6 PPG and shooting the rock at 39.5%. Marcus Morris Sr. if he can get some more games under his belt and stay healthy would be a huge plus for letting Paul George to get some much needed rest minutes as the season goes on.
Clippers Moving Forward
The big question lingering over the Clippers is when will Kawhi Leonard be back? When he comes back will he be that MVP level player that he is capable of being? Recent reports have him ahead of schedule in his knee injury recovery. Still no time table in his return and I am personally not expecting him back until the new year. If the Clippers hold that .500 record until Kawhi Leonard gets back is the bare minimum for this team. The expectations for this team are making a NBA title run. For that title run to happen Paul George’s health is going to be a major concern. George is averaging over 35 minutes a game. When Kawhi Leonard is back expect him to have that same load management as last year. Clippers should hope for a middle seed and getting every 100% healthy for game one of the playoffs.
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