Speaking on Friday to reporters, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said that he doesn’t think Kawhi Leonard‘s “load management” plan for the 2019/20 season will be as strict as it was last year in Toronto, tweets Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.
After missing most of the 2017/18 season with a quad injury, Leonard didn’t play in any back-to-back sets during his first and only year as a Raptor. He also missed a handful of additional games due to minor ailments or for rest purposes, ultimately appearing in just 60 of the team’s 82 regular season games. Of course, he played all 24 postseason contests en route to a championship.
While the Clippers may plan on having Leonard play in more than 60 games this season as long as he remains healthy, Rivers acknowledged that he won’t be the only one involved in that decision. “That’ll be played out by smarter guys than me,” Rivers said, per Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register.
Here’s more on the NBA’s two Los Angeles teams:
- As Swanson details in the article linked above, Rivers and Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank addressed a handful of other topics during today’s media session. Frank said Paul George has made “great progress” in his recovery from shoulder surgeries, but didn’t offer a specific timeline for his return.
- Frank also suggested that the Clippers will be keeping a close eye during the first half of the season on areas that may need to be fortified at the trade deadline or on the buyout market. “We’re gonna learn a lot over the first two, two-and-a-half, three months of the season,” Frank said, according to Swanson. “You can look at a roster and say, ‘I think the holes are gonna be here or here,’ and you could be completely off. What Doc does, he puts guys in position to succeed and play to their strengths, so what may, on the board, look like, ‘Oh, we lack this position,’ well, maybe he’s gonna make those adjustments and (we) won’t.”
- While Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is optimistic that his team can get off to a strong start this season, he admits in a conversation with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com that all the new pieces on the roster may need some time to jell. “It’d probably be irresponsible to think it’s all going to happen overnight, and that we’re going to start the season with great cohesiveness,” Vogel said. “There are going to be bumps in the road, there are nights where it might be ugly, and guys are getting to know each other on both ends of the floor.”
- In a pair of articles for Lakers.com, Joey Ramirez examines what free agent signees Quinn Cook and Jared Dudley will bring to the Lakers in 2019/20. Ramirez singles out Cook’s ability to shoot from the outside, as well as Dudley’s veteran leadership and high-IQ play.