Patrick Patterson to start in Kawhi Leonard’s place for Clippers vs. Pacers
Kawhi has been ruled out for knee injury maintenance. In his place, Patrick Patterson will start.
Doc Rivers said Patrick Patterson will start with Kawhi Leonard being out.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) December 9, 2019
Leonard remains in a knee injury maintenance program that prevents him from playing in both parts of a back-to-back, which means the decision to rule him inactive wasn’t a surprise. As Marc Stein of The New York Times reported in early November, Leonard is dealing with an “ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee.”
The Clippers have put Leonard on an injury protocol for back-to-back games after, according to the statement, the team “reasonably determined that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee.”
Patterson has appeared in 21 games for the Clippers this season. He is averaging 5.0 points and 2.9 rebounds in 13.9 minutes while shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc. He provides a 3-and-D impact necessary for a team loaded with playmaking talent.
The storyline can’t be ignored when there is a matchup involving the Pacers and Paul George. With Leonard sidelined, there will be added opportunity for George to shoulder the scoring load against the team that he began his NBA career.
It won’t be easy to defeat the Pacers given they currently hold a 9-2 record at home. Not having Leonard in the lineup only adds to the difficulty, but Los Angeles is used to overcoming changes to their personnel.