The LA Clippers need to be extra cautious with Paul George

Paul George LA Clippers (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Paul George LA Clippers (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With news that Paul George won’t travel with the LA Clippers to Denver on Sunday, it has become apparent that the team needs to be extremely cautious with his injury.

Prior to the LA Clippers’ 109-100 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, Doc Rivers told reporters that Paul George would not travel with the team to Denver to face the Nuggets on Sunday.

The reason? A hamstring strain which seemingly worsened over the team’s four days off this week. George missed the game last Saturday versus the Memphis Grizzlies but was able to suit up and score 32 points versus the New York Knicks on Sunday.

The injury was listed at the time as hamstring tightness, but it appears the team either weren’t fully aware of the extent of the injury or it got worse after Sunday. Regardless of what happened, the team needs to be extremely cautious going forward with George.

While we don’t have a timetable on the injury, I would hope the team makes PG take more time than necessary to ensure his body is ready. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find where the team has dropped the ball on this.

Just a few weeks ago, JaMychal Green hurt his tailbone but attempted to play versus the Washington Wizards. He was on the court for just a hair over four minutes before re-aggravating the injury and subsequently missing seven more games.

Now, no offense to JaMyke who is a great player in his own right, but he’s not as important to this team’s championship run as Paul George is. PG needs to be taken a lot more seriously by the team. With the schedule softening up a lot from the insane to start the season, having him miss several games while he recovers likely isn’t going to be extremely detrimental to the team.

The team has a relatively easy schedule over the next six games.

  • 1/12 – @ Denver Nuggets
  • 1/14 – vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 1/16 – vs. Orlando Magic
  • 1/18 – @ New Orleans Pelicans
  • 1/21 – @ Dallas Mavericks
  • 1/22 – @ Atlanta Hawks

Out of those six games, only the Nuggets and the Mavericks look like they will playoff teams this season. If the team were to go 4-2 in that stretch without George (assuming he’s out that long), it would be a success.

Yes, his 23.5 points per game won’t be replicated easily but having him fully healthy come postseason is much more valuable. The team can make due as they demonstrated to start the season while PG is on the mend.

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In the interim, expect Landry Shamet to get the start next to Patrick Beverley in the backcourt. Keep checking back here as we get more information related to George’s recovery.