The Los Angeles Clippers have floated around .500 for most of the regular season and as a result, they’ve earned a spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament. Like all of the other teams in the postseason field, injuries are a major factor to take into the consideration for this group.
Update, April 15 — Kennard has been ruled out once again for the Clippers with a hamstring injury. LA will be without him and Paul George in this crucial play-in game against the Pelicans.
Update, April 15 — The Clippers now have major problems on their hand as George has entered health and safety protocols. He will now miss Friday’s game against the Pelicans, which means the Clippers likely become underdogs in this contest.
Update, April 14 — Kennard was initially uncertain for Friday’s game with his hamstring injury, and is now listed as questionable. He missed the first play-in game and didn’t even make the trip to Minnesota. If Kennard returns to the floor, he brings an important floor-spacing dynamic for the Clippers.
Update, April 12 — Kennard has been formally ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Timberwolves. The guard didn’t make the trip to Minnesota and is still rehabbing his hamstring injury. With Kennard out, look for Amir Coffey, Nicolas Batum and Terance Mann to take on bigger roles on the perimeter for LA.
Update, April 11 — Nic Batum is not listed on the injury report for Tuesday vs. the Timberwolves. G Luke Kennard, however, is on there as questionable to play due to a hamstring injury. Not having Kennard would be a big deal for the Clippers in a one-game playoff.
The Clippers have been dealing with injuries to key pieces all season long and one may wonder if star forward Kawhi Leonard could possibly make a return in time for the play-in tournament. That is highly unlikely as head coach Ty Lue shared on Friday that he hasn’t progressed beyond individual workouts. The All-NBA guard has missed the entirety of the regular season rehabbing an ACL tear he suffered during the postseason last year.
L.A. will have Paul George on the court, who returned from an elbow injury a few weeks back. They’ll also have Norman Powell, who returned from a foot injury that kept him out for two months. He put up 20+ points in both of his games back on the floor.
As the eight-seed in the pay-in tournament, the Clippers will hit the road to face No. 7 seed Minnesota on Tuesday.