LA Clippers: 5 signs their season was just getting started

LA Clippers (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
LA Clippers (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Paul George
Paul George LA Clippers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

They’re Finally Healthy

A well-known and oft-repeated phrase says that the best ability is availability. This certainly translates to the basketball court. No matter what skills a player may possess they’re not worth anything if they’re on the bench due to injuries.

Health was a major concern for the Clippers coming into this season. They had recently acquired star players Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, both of which had the skills and talent to turn their franchise around overnight, both also coming off injury-plagued seasons.

George missed the first eleven games of the year while rehabbing his shoulders after off-season surgery. An injury to his hamstring kept him out for another nine-game stretch in January.

George has only sat out one game (a loss against the Sacramento Kings on February 22) since returning to the lineup on January 30. His health and consistency has helped the team’s performance on the court and in establishing their rhythm and identity.

Kawhi Leonard is coming off a season in which he was limited to 60 total games in the interest of staying healthy via load management. Kawhi has played in a total of 51 games in the 2019-20 season so far and had played a season-high 11 straight games when the league shut down.

Injuries and luck play a great deal of importance for a team looking to make a deep playoff run. The fact that the Clippers’ top two stars have been healthy have helped them develop their chemistry on the court as well as helping the rest of the team find their fit around them.

The break in action may only help from a health perspective, as head coach Doc Rivers has said he expects the two stars to return to action “in phenomenal shape” after the forced time off.