Clippers Worry Over Paul George's Injury in Los Angeles

Update on LA Clippers Injury: Shooting Guard Paul George Suffers from Right Leg Injury, Team Fears Playoffs Exclusion without PG-13.

Jun 11, 2024
4 min read
Paul George, a guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, is seen here holding his right leg after...
Paul George, a guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, is seen here holding his right leg after suffering an injury against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Arena in downtown L.A.


Limited offer

Learn more

Clippers Worry Over Paul George's Injury in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Clippers find themselves in a precarious position after their leading scorer and shooting guard Paul George sustained an injury to his right leg during a recent game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The accident happened in the final minutes of the fourth quarter when George went for a rebound and collided with Thunder player Lu Dort. The two players' knees clashed mid-air, followed by an awkward landing on the hard floor.

George remained on the court for several minutes before receiving assistance and making his way to the locker room. An onlooker, teammate Kawhi Leonard, admitted to not witnessing the play but initially thought George had been hit in the face.

Without their top-scoring player, the Clippers couldn't quite pull through, resulting in a narrow 101-100 loss to the Thunder.

An MRI is scheduled for George on Wednesday, which will help determine the extent of his injury and the number of matches he might miss.

The Clippers currently stand at a 38-35 record and would secure the #5 playoff spot if the season ended today. However, in the closely contested Western Conference, only 2.5 games separate eight teams, making it a tight race for playoff positions. With George unavailable, the Clippers could potentially slide into the Western Conference Play-In Tournament. Within this scenario, there is also a 22% likelihood that the Clippers might not make it to the playoffs at all, predicts FiveThirtyEight.

A History of Unfortunate Injuries for George

George missed much of last season due to a right elbow injury and managed to play in only 31 games. His season was cut short by a partially torn UCL ligament in his shooting arm, deciding against surgery. George was injured when, during a game versus the Portland Trail Blazers, he dived for a loose ball, only for 7-foot-2 center Jusuf Nurkic to land on his right arm.

George seemed in peak form after his elbow injury fully healed during the offseason, posting impressive averages of 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. His overall shooting percentages improved across the board, with a 45.7% average from the field, 37.1% from three-point distance, and a sparkling 87.1% at the free-throw line.

George has had a notorious history with injuries. Missing 76 games during the 2014-15 season, George suffered a compound fracture of his right leg. This horrendous injury occurred in an offseason scrimmage while training with Team USA for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The Clippers are currently dealing with another pressing concern as swingman Norman Powell is nursing a shoulder injury. Powell is their third-best scorer, averaging 16.6 points per game. Powell is optimistically expected to return this weekend or early next week.

In order to replace George in the starting lineup, head coach Ty Lue could look to insert backup Terance Mann. Over the course of his 35 starts this season, Mann tallied up average numbers of 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. His three-point shooting percentage stands at a respectable 38.6%.

Have the "Curse of the Clippers" Returned?

Although the Clippers have shown signs of improvement in the postseason recently, some fans believe the team is still cursed or hexed.

During the 2010s, the Clippers were often bounced from the playoffs before reaching the Western Conference finals, with some blaming this string of defeats on the "Curse of the Clippers."

The curse seemed to have dissipated when the Clippers made it to the 2021 Western Conference finals for the first time, led by George and Leonard. However, George's latest injury has rekindled speculation that the curse had indeed returned.

The Futures Market Evaluates the Clippers

Following a 2-9 stretch in January, the Clippers sunk below .500 with a 23-24 record. However, a five-game winning streak lifted their spirits, ending the first half of the season with a 33-28 record.

The Clippers were dealt a blow immediately after the break, losing five consecutive games and settling at 33-33. With a rapid turnaround, they won five out of their following six matches, moving into fifth place in the standings. The Western Conference is still filled with uncertainty as numerous teams fight for playoff spots.

The Clippers were well aware of their vulnerable position before George's injury. They were keen to secure a top 6 spot to avoid the Western Conference Play-In Tournament, which features teams from 7th to 10th place. Given the current injuries to both George and Powell, it's looking likely that the Clippers may end up participating in the Play-In Tournament.

The LA Clippers have attracted the interest of sportsbooks, with DraftKings giving them odds of +1300 to clinch the 2022-23 NBA title. The team's chances of claiming the Western Conference have alway eluded them, but this time they're +600 favorites. However, they still rank fourth on the futures board, falling behind the Phoenix Suns (+240), Denver Nuggets (+340), and Golden State Warriors (+550). According to FiveThirtyEight, the Clippers are expected to end the regular season with a 43-39 record and an approximate 78% likelihood of playing in the postseason. Their chances of making it to the NBA Finals currently stand at 3%, while the probability of securing the championship is estimated at 0.6%.

Read also:


Limited offer

Learn more