After getting through 17 games without much of an impact from COVID-19, the Clippers have been stricken, as both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will miss Tuesday’s game against the Hawks due to health and safety protocols related to COVID-19. Now, as of right now, it seems like neither has tested positive themselves, but that they have merely come into contact with someone who has.
Kawhi and PG will presumably quarantine and be tested regularly over the coming days. While they are out against the Hawks, early reports are that they could rejoin the Clippers for the last five games of their six-game road trip, or at least for some of that stretch. The Clippers play Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, so if all goes well, it’s possible that the superstar duo misses only one or two games. Of course, if one of them tests positive, then not only will they miss a significant stretch of time, but the entire team might be put into quarantine.
The most important thing is, of course, the health of PG and Kawhi, as well as the health of the rest of the organization and their families. Hopefully all is ultimately ok, and neither player tests positive. In the meantime, thoughts and prayers for the two Clippers as well as everyone who has been in contact with them recently for some negative test results.
Additionally, Pat Beverley has been ruled out of the Hawks game due to knee soreness. This means the Clippers will be down 3/5 of their starting lineup, a crippling blow against any NBA team, but especially a solid squad like the Hawks. For as long as the trio remains out, Reggie Jackson will presumably start at point for Pat, Luke Kennard will fill in for George, and Marcus Morris will take the place of Kawhi.
The bench rotation will be a little harder to parse, but Patrick Patterson will probably absorb backup power forward minutes, and Terance Mann will almost certainly get a real role as a reserve guard. It’s possible that Amir Coffey gets rotation minutes as well for as long as all three starters are out.
Pat Beverley’s timeline is more open-ended, but I’d assume Paul George and Kawhi will miss at least one more game in addition to the Hawks’ game due to COVID-19 protocols, and if either tests positive the repercussions will be much greater. Stay tuned, and again, let’s all send our thoughts for the best.