Paul George’s Clippers debut expected Thursday against New Orleans

first_img Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates There’s been no outright “warning” to the league articulated by the Clippers ahead of Paul George’s arrival this week – likely to come Thursday in New Orleans, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes – but that’s not to say Doc Rivers’ team isn’t licking its chops in anticipation.After Rivers offered a coach’s hat-tip to Nick Nurse and the Raptors for setting traps all game for Kawhi Leonard that effectively held him to a season-low 12 points in the Clippers’ 98-88 victory Monday, Rivers took pleasure in knowing that George’s presence will help keep opposing defenses honest.The six-time All-Star wing – who officially is listed as questionable on the Clippers’ injury report ahead of their game in Houston – has missed the Clippers’ first 10 games while finishing his rehabilitation from offseason shoulder surgeries.“Just imagine when you have Kawhi and Lou (Williams) and Paul and a team tries to trap you, with Trezz (Harrell),” Rivers said. “You’re gonna pretty much get what you want.” What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Leonard made it clear after Monday’s victory that, regardless of complaints by fans or anyone else, he’ll do what he believes is best for his health, and ultimately, for the Clippers’ prospects moving forward.“You just can’t buy into what people are saying,” Leonard said. “My health is No. 1. That’s what’s gonna make us be a better team, make me be healthy, so we’ll just see how things go.”SHAMET UPDATEAn MRI on Tuesday determined that starting shooting guard Landry Shamet avoided serious injury, suffering a Grade 2 high left ankle sprain, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. No timetable for Shamet’s return has been announced.Related Articlescenter_img Shamet was injured while defending a drive by his former Wichita State teammate Fred VanVleet with 1:45 left in the third quarter.Immediately after the game, Rivers said he didn’t yet know the severity of the injury to his second-year sharpshooter, who had to be helped off the floor and then later left the locker room on crutches.Shamet, who also suffered a left wrist injury this preseason, is averaging 9.1 points and shooting 39 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from 3-point range. He’s cooled off after a sensational rookie campaign in which he shot 43.1 percent overall and 42.2 percent from beyond the arc. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Clippers forward Moe Harkless marveled at what inserting George into the Clippers’ plans will mean, especially defensively: “That’s another guy who on both ends of the floor is a truly phenomenal player, man. And defensively, I don’t think he gets enough credit (although) he’s always in the running for All-Defensive team.”The impact George will make on the already imposing, improving Clippers – who went 7-3 against the league’s second-strongest schedule thus far, according to ESPN – is easier to predict than Leonard’s availability this week.It remained less clear whether George’s debut, if it does come on the second night of a back-to-back set of games, will occur alongside Leonard, or whether Leonard will play Wednesday in Houston and miss Thursday’s game in New Orleans as he continues to manage an injury to the patella tendon in his left knee.Leonard is not listed on the team’s injury report, but if he was a load-management scratch Wednesday, his three absences all would have been nationally televised on ESPN.The Clippers entered the season scheduled to have 11 games apiece broadcast on ESPN and TNT, and four on ABC (Ch. 7) – a significant spike from last season, when the team sans All-Stars didn’t initially figure at all into ABC or ESPN’s plans (ESPN picked up a pair of games during the season) and was on TNT just three times. Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters last_img

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