Brutal Paul George update could change Clippers’ trajectory

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 22: Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 22: Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Clippers may have gone into the 2021-22 season with the expectation that a championship was out of reach as a result of the Kawhi Leonard injury, but Paul George gave this team a very high floor. With George and Ty Lue in place, LA had a fairly high floor.

George has had to overcome a ton this season, as playing without Leonard and with some questionable depth has helped him make a legit All-NBA push. Unfortunately, with Los Angeles at an even .500 and looking at a potential play-in birth, they just lost the services of their best player.

George has been sidelined with an elbow injury that seemed like it could potentially deactivate him for a significant chunk of time. The latest buzz is making it sound like the Clippers’ nightmare scenario has come true. We may not see George again in 2022.

According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Clippers are operating under the assumption that George and Leonard are not going to return this season. Given the lack of future draft picks available to them, 2021-22 may soon turn out to be a complete disaster barring some masterful moves from Lue.

The Los Angeles Clippers may finish 2022 without Paul George.

Considering that LA’s first-round pick this year is headed to Oklahoma City as part of the trade to acquire George, the Clippers can’t even reap all of the benefits of losing without him. George ending up on the All-NBA team may not happen either because of the games he is slated to miss.

George is averaging 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.0 steals per game this season. His points per game average is the highest it has ever been in a Clippers jersey, his steals numbers are among the best in the league, and his assists per game numbers are the best of his career.

With George out, even more of an offensive burden falls on names like Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris, and Terance Mann. While this team won’t be as successful, LA should still be able to pile up the points without George in the lineup given the infrastructure in place.

There have been some disappointing trends for LA this season, but the play of George is certainly not one of them. Without an automatic 50 points a night from both of their superstars, keeping pace with the rest of what has become a very deep Western Conference this season could prove to be almost impossible.