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Basketball

Clippers’ Paul George Nears Return: Who Will Lose Minutes?

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Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have proved that they can win games without their superstar small forward, Paul George. With that being said, having George back on the court is going to make the Clippers an even harder team to beat. Paul George just participated in his first full live practice on Saturday and as his debut nears, discussions of which Clippers’ player will sit due to George’s return arise.

Here is everything you need to know about Paul George’s return:

Clippers Current Starting Five

Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley

Patrick Beverley and Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers

Without Paul George, the L.A. Clippers have been starting, small forward Kawhi Leonard, point guard Patrick Beverley, center Ivica Zubac, shooting guard Landry Shamet and power forward Patrick Patterson. It goes without a question that one of these players will be losing minutes and possibly their starting position as soon as Paul George makes his debut of the season.

As reported by Clippers Nation, Los Angeles Clippers’ head coach, Doc River’s isn’t too concerned about the roster. He said, “I don’t really worry about it. It’s a team. Anybody who thinks they’re going to keep their minutes and Paul’s not going to get them is probably not very rational, anyway. That’s why teams work.”

The Clippers’ roster is a very versatile group of players and the current starting lineup has been fighting tough battles. They have been working tremendously hard and have earned well deserved wins. Even without their star player, Kawhi Leonard at times, the team has still put up a good fight.  Paul George’s return is going to create a super team that could possibly be unbeatable.

Who Will Lose Minutes on the Court?

Zubac George and Patterson

Ivica Zubac, Paul George and Patrick Patterson of the Los Angeles Clippers

Due to the fact that the Clippers’ roster is so strong, one player losing minutes will only result in an even stronger bench. Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley and Ivica Zubac have a solid spot in the starting five, so they don’t have anything to worry about. Landry Shamet and power forward Patrick Patterson are two players whose starting position is at risk.

Patrick Patterson started the season hot and made an outstanding opening when he scored 20 points against the Golden State Warriors. Since then, Patterson has struggled to find rhythm on the court. He is currently averaging 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Shamet on the other hand, has been consistent. Though sometimes he too struggles to find momentum on the court he always finds ways to pull through. This season he is averaging 9.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

Paul George’s Role on the Clippers

Paul George

Getty Images6-time All-Star Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers

Paul George is obviously going to play a pivotal role on the L.A. Clippers. Paul George is not only an amazing shooter, he also plays spectacular defense as he is a four-time member of NBA’s All Defensive Teams. There are no limits to the six-time All Star’s abilities. Last season while playing with the Oklahoma City Thunder, George averaged 28 points per game and is a career 37.8% 3-point shooter.

Per USA Today Sports, George said, “I take pride in being on the court and being a ballplayer,” he said. “Instincts take over. I’m not really defining myself by my position. I just love to hoop and love to play the game.”

George has endured about six months of rehab and is ready to get back at it. He has been shooting before games and has participated in 3-3 at practice, per Clippers’ writer, Jovan Buha and then took part in full live practice on Saturday, per Clippers’ writer, Tomer Azarly. After Saturday’s practice, head coach Doc Rivers said that though not likely, it is possible to see PG return in Monday’s night game against the Raptors.

If PG doesn’t suit up on Monday, it is likely to see him back on the court later in the week on Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets or on Thursday night against the New Orleans Pelicans.


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