Despite the world being “back to normal” after the pandemic, news has broken that All-NBA forward Paul George will miss tonight’s Clippers’ game due to health and safety protocols. The Clippers forward is believed to have COVID-19. George did not feel well Thursday and underwent testing. That is a massive development less than 12 hours before the game is to be tipped off. This is a massive blow to the teams considering the Los Angeles Clippers were unable to clinch their playoff spot, losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. That forced them into the win-or-go-home game against the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night. Will they be able to pull a win tonight with George on the bench?
Clippers’ Star Guard Missing Game Spells Trouble for Team
As those Twitter users point out, the Clippers played 82 games and finished six games ahead of the Pelicans for the eighth seed. Now, they are likely to be eliminated. The Clippers have seen a large number of injuries this season. George missed 51 games earlier this season. He was out for three months with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He returned for five regular-season games, and the Clippers have won six of their last eight with a healthy George in the lineup. 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 at Minnesota in the play-in game for the seventh spot on Tuesday.
The Clippers are still without Kawhi Leonard (with no word when he will be back from his injury) and George has already missed most of the season as well. Just as soon as it looked like the Clippers had turned a corner with the return of George, he is now once again absent, and for the biggest game of the year.Other fans simply had takeaways of all shapes and sizes. “This is another challenge for our group,” Lawrence Frank said at the team shootaround. “The group has dealt with challenges all year. We’ve had guys in and out of the lineup and dealt with overcoming large deficits and yet this group has always responded. A very resilient group. We have a great deal of faith and a talented and deep roster and have a great coach in Ty Lue.”
Clippers’ Paul George’s to be Absent from Playoffs
Frank said the team is following 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 may be fitting that this is a situation where all those reps and experiences that the group has had, they have been in these moments many, many times before this year.” There is no clear word for the rest of the team but the game is still expected to occur. Regardless of which team they might be rooting for, the real loser is the fans. Tonight should have been showcasing two of the best scorers in basketball, with CJ McCollum and Paul George. The Clippers will need Norman Powell and Robert Covington if they want to continue playing.
With Paul George being taken out of the game due to COVID it begs the question: Why does everything seem to be going back to normal if people are still getting COVID? If things are back so “back to normal” why is this still an issue? Do you believe COVID is the real reason George won’t be playing in tonight’s game? How “back to normal” do you believe the world truly is?
Written by: Erinn Malloy