Kawhi Leonard and Paul George sat out another game Saturday, but the Clippers are optimistic that they’ll both return soon, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Leonard and George were both able to practice Friday, and they will join the team for its four-game road trip that begins Monday at Charlotte.
“They felt good,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “It felt good and so, hopefully, we get them back very soon and they’re going on the trip. So that’s positive.”
Leonard, who has only played five games this season, is dealing with a sprained ankle that has sidelined him for the past six games. George has missed seven straight contests with a strained right hamstring. The Clippers, who were considered among the pre-season favorites in the West, are off to a 13-11 start as they wait to get back to full strength.
“I mean they definitely want to play,” Lue said. “We just gotta be smart about it. You hate to see this happen. Kawhi, who has missed 15 months of basketball, you think he don’t want to play? He wants to play. PG wants to play, and it’s just not the right time. They’re still rehabbing, still progressing and doing the right things, trying to get to that point. Hopefully we can get it done on this trip. Being optimistic about it.”
There’s more from Los Angeles:
- John Wall‘s minutes restriction is preventing Lue from considering him for a starting role, Youngmisuk adds. Clippers starting point guard Reggie Jackson has been less than 100% since a hard fall on Tuesday, but Wall is limited to about 26 minutes per night and hasn’t played in back-to-back games.
- The Lakers were determined to get a victory Friday in Milwaukee for Darvin Ham, who spent four years as an assistant with the Bucks before becoming the head coach in L.A., per Jovan Buha of The Athletic. “It’s like a player going back to his previous team for the first time,” Anthony Davis said. “As a head coach, it’s that first win and then going back to your former team. And I think this one, without it being said before the game, we wanted to win it for him, obviously.”
- Lakers star LeBron James is questionable for Sunday’s game at Washington due to left ankle soreness, Marc Stein tweets. James returned to action eight days ago after missing two weeks with an adductor strain.