Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank confirmed that George went into the league’s health and safety protocols.
This is a significant blow for the Clippers, who lose their star guard – again – as they try to win the No. 8 seed for the Western Conference playoffs in the elimination match against the Pelicans. The winner advances to a matchup in the first round against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns.
“He’s disappointed. He’s down,” coach Tyronn Lue said before the game. “I just said to him, ‘We have to win this fight for you’ ‘.
Frank said George was not feeling well Thursday and underwent tests.
“This is another challenge for our group,” Frank said at the team shooting round. “The group has handled challenges all year. We have had guys in and out of the ranks and managed to overcome large deficits, and yet this group has always responded. A very robust group. We have a great deal of faith and a talented and deep list and has a great coach in Ty Lue. “
When asked if other Clippers players should test and if George will be out for a period of time, Frank said the team follows the NBA’s lead when it comes to health and safety protocols.
“This is a challenge, but it has just been a series of challenges and it may be appropriate that it is a situation where all the reps and experiences that the group has had, they have been in these moments many, many times before this year. . “
The news was quick to affect the points spread of Friday night’s match at sportsbooks, with the Clippers immediately going from 4-point favorites to 1-point underdogs against the Pelicans.
George was out for three months with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. In all, he missed 51 games this season, with the Clippers going 24-27 in his absence and 18-13 with him in the lineup.
He missed one of the Clippers’ games in the regular season against the Pelicans, which New Orleans won by 24 points.
George returned for five games in the regular season after his long hiatus, and the Clippers have won six of their last eight with a healthy George in a row.
He averaged 24.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists this season. He had 34 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in the team’s 109-104 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday in the play-in game for seventh place.
The Clippers are again without both of their stars. Kawhi Leonard stays out as he retrains a torn ACL and has not played a single minute this season. Frank said there is still no timetable for Leonard’s return.
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