LA Clippers: Doc Rivers expects stars to return ‘in phenomenal shape’

Paul George #13 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Paul George #13 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The LA Clippers coach said he is confident that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will return to NBA action in top condition, ready for a title run.

How are you spending your days of social distancing? If you’re anything like LA Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard, you are making sure you’re in top condition for when life returns to normal.

ESPN has reported that Clippers head coach Doc Rivers recently told reporters on a conference call that he is sure Leonard will return from the break in action “in phenomenal shape”.

“I know Kawhi’s overworking. I can guarantee you that,” Rivers said on the call. “And the difference is, during the summer, Kawhi couldn’t work, you know, so now he’s got this break and he’s able to train.”

“The Kawhi we’ll see will be in phenomenal shape” Rivers said. Also making sure to namedrop the team’s other top superstar, adding “PG [Paul George] is another guy that’s gonna be in phenomenal shape.”

Leonard was the key player, and NBA Finals MVP, in a championship run for the Toronto Raptors last season before signing with the Clippers. He was limited during the season due to a knee injury that kept him out of back-to-backs and held him to 60 games played for the year. He spent most of the offseason recovering and rehabbing and was limited in the amount of physical training he could do.

Leonard has played in 51 of the Clippers 64 games so far this season, with the team keeping a close eye on how many minutes the star has logged. If the break in action gives Leonard the chance to get in even better shape for a potential stretch run, the rest of the league should be on notice.

Doc Rivers was confident the team was already on track to make a leap, saying “I really thought we were about to make a crazy run down the stretch. And unfortunately, bam, it stopped. … I love where we were at. And seeing the way we play and how we were coming together, this team’s good. I think we could beat anybody.”

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Rivers, like the rest of us, is obviously excited for the NBA to eventually return, and for the Clippers to get their chance to make a playoff run. He told reporters on the call “If it means we get to play and continue our pursuit for the goal that we want, I feel like Dr. Seuss: ‘I will play anywhere. I will play in a house. I will play in a mouse.’ I think that’s how our team feels. We don’t care where, when, why, what. We just want to go after our goal.”

We’d actually love to see an NBA game played in an unconventional venue like a house. In a mouse, however? We’re not quite sure how that would work, Doc.