The Los Angeles Clippers are about to get stronger next week.
Paul George, who underwent surgery on both shoulders this past off-season, is nearing his return to the court and all signs suggest that he’ll finally be ready to go sometime next week. According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, the Clippers expect George to make his debut either against Houston on Wednesday, November 13, or against the Pelicans on Thursday, November 14.
PG-13 almost ready ?
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) November 6, 2019
Kawhi Leonard has been taking “load management” nights off and the return of George will help mitigate the Clippers’ drop-off in those games.
George’s return should fill one of the few remaining holes on this Clippers roster. Last season’s roster thrived by dominating bench minutes, but that hasn’t been the case so far this year. The Clippers are outscoring opponents by 18.2 points per 100 possessions when Leonard is on the floor, but when he sits, they are getting outscored 9.3 points per 100 possessions. He has already missed one game due to load management — a loss to the Utah Jazz — and will miss another Wednesday night when the Clippers take on the Milwaukee Bucks.
Even if George makes his return there though, fans shouldn’t expect to see him playing in consecutive games right away. The Clippers’ next game is the following day in New Orleans, and it seems likely that LA would consider resting him for one of the two games. Rushing him into action after such a long recovery period isn’t a smart move.