Through 20 games, the Clippers have already used eight different starting lineups and countless second-unit combinations as injuries continue to disrupt their rotation, writes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register.
Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Luke Kennard have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Pacers as they all remain sidelined with no set timetable to return. Leonard continues to deal with a sprained right ankle that has limited him to five games so far, George is out of action with a strained hamstring and Kennard is nursing a strained calf muscle.
John Wall said it’s up to the rest of the roster to find ways to win until those players can return.
“You know, sometimes it’s not good to lose your best two players, but there is always the next man up,” Wall said. “We all put the work in. We all are veterans. We all know how to play the right way. You just go out there and execute. That’s the simplest thing you can do.”
If there’s a bright side for coach Tyronn Lue, it’s that none of the injuries are expected to be long-term. It’s a different situation than last year when Leonard missed the entire season and George also had a lengthy absence. Lue said he feels “pretty good about the situation right now and how guys are progressing.”
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Suns forward Cameron Johnson is celebrating his progress as he works to return from a meniscus tear in his right knee, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “I jumped on it and I was shooting (on Wednesday),” said Johnson, who is projected to miss one to two months. “And I did more cardio and I was able to kind of let rip on the bike and get my heart rate up. When we go from playing every day, we’re sweating and running, that’s cardio. After surgery, it’s a little limited with those options. To be able to get back, work up a sweat and get my heart rate up and explore some new movements post-surgery, it’s my win for (Wednesday).”
- Even coach Monty Williams can’t fully explain why Chris Paul remains unavailable, Rankin states in a separate story. Paul missed his ninth straight game tonight for the West-leading Suns. “My YouTube degree doesn’t go into medical,” Williams told reporters. “I just wait for them to tell me he can play. We’re just not there yet. I don’t have anything to add to that. If he was able to play, they’d be like, he’s ready to go. He’s just not there yet.”
- After missing tonight’s game with a left calf contusion, Lakers big man Anthony Davis is expected to return Monday, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.