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Kawhi Leonard, Paul George out for Clippers-Hawks due to coronavirus protocols

Clippers stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 15: Paul George #13 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers talk during the game against the Sacramento Kings on January 15, 2021 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Clippers were hitting their stride.

Were.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are out for tomorrow’s game against the Hawks due to “Health and Safety Protocols.” Patrick Beverley is also out with right knee soreness.

This doesn’t mean Leonard and George contracted coronavirus. They might have had inconclusive tests. Or they could be out due to contact tracing. The length of their absences will depend on the situation.

In the meantime, this is a significant setback. The Clippers have played just played just 96 minutes with neither Leonard nor George on the court. For good reason. L.A. is -38 in that span (offensive/defensive/net ratings: 93.0/109.2/-16.2).

But those minutes have disproportionately gone to deep reserves, often in blowouts.

So, the Clippers are venturing into new territory by relying on key players like Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka and Marcus Morris – but without Leonard and George.

That’ll obviously be difficult. Leonard was playing at an MVP level, and George wasn’t too far behind. The forwards are major positives both offensively and defensively. That’s a lot of production to replace.

Hopefully, the Clippers won’t have to do it for too long.

L.A.'s road trip:


  • Tomorrow: at Hawks
  • Thursday: at Heat
  • Friday: at Magic
  • Sunday: at Knicks
  • Feb. 2: at Nets
  • Feb. 3: at Cavaliers