Clippers coach Doc Rivers unsure if Kawhi Leonard will play any preseason games
On the #Clippers' injury front, Doc Rivers says he hasn't given any thought to Kawhi Leonard playing in preseason. Says he participated in all of practice today & was great. Doc adds that Paul George is still doing 5-on-0, and doesn't think he'll take any contact throughout camp.
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) October 9, 2019
Likewise, the Clippers will remain cautious with Paul George, who is expected to miss the beginning of the regular season after undergoing surgery on both of his shoulders in the offseason.
Rivers hinted over a week ago that we shouldn’t expect to see much of the reigning Finals MVP in preseason, and perhaps not at all. The Clippers may begin their load management program for their superstar as soon as possible.
Leonard, however, noted that the Clippers have not laid out a concrete plan for him to undergo load management this upcoming season. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year said he feels way healthier entering this season compared to last year.
Last season, Leonard went through a thoroughly planned load management program for the Toronto Raptors. The two-way superstar suited up in just 60 games throughout the regular season and sat out all of the Raptors’ back-to-back games.
Leonard went through the program to keep himself fresh and ready to go for the postseason. The formula proved to be gold for Toronto, as Kawhi eventually led them to their first-ever NBA championship.
The Raptors introduced the blueprint for success. Thus, it’s highly likely that the Clippers will keep Leonard in a similar program this upcoming season. Los Angeles is essentially bringing back much of the same core it had last season, which includes the likes of Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, and Montrezl Harrell.
The Clippers have one of the deepest teams in the league, and the chemistry they have established with each other should help them win games in which Leonard or Paul George will inevitably sit out.