With only one preseason game left for the LA Clippers, key players are banged up. All that should matter is getting them rested for the start of the year.
April and the start of the 2020 NBA playoffs may be a ways off but decisions made in October could still have heavy implications. Ensuring players are healthy and ready for the grind of the regular season is all that matters now for the LA Clippers.
The Clippers played their penultimate preseason game yesterday versus Melbourne United, an Australian club, and did not come out unscathed. Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet and Amir Coffey all were injured or aggravated prexisting injuries during the contest. According to Jovan Buha, the team canceled today’s practice in order to let their guys recover.
Now, no offense to Coffey, but we’re ignoring his inclusion in this since he’s a two-way player and doesn’t figure into the Clippers’ rotation. Beverley and Shamet are far too important to be suffering from lingering injuriesm, especially to start the season. Cancelling practice is a step in the right direction, but until I hear for sure that they aren’t touching the court on Thursday versus the Mavericks, I’ll be nervous.
We already know that Paul George is going to be out until mid-November at the least. With him out and a tough schedule to start the year, having another starting-caliber guard miss time would be killer. Preseason just isn’t worth it.
Want proof? All you have to do is just look down the hall of Staples Center at the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony Davis is scheduled to have an MRI today after spraining his thumb against the Brooklyn Nets. Now, the Lakers may be without one of their two stars as well. See? Not worth it.
Speaking of the Nets, they also had Kyrie Irving missing time. He tried to play in the first of the team’s two games in China after fracturing his face. Guess what? He re-aggravated that injury. Do I sound like a broken record yet? It’s not worth it.
At this point, Doc Rivers already knows what lineups he will be using (his sliding lineups’ comments nonwithstanding). The game on Thursday versus Dallas should just be used to evaluate younger fringe guys who the front office may want to keep around as part of the G-League team. Don’t risk it. Don’t chance having another key player miss time.
It’s not worth it.