The Los Angeles Clippers have a legitimate case for being the most disappointing team this season. Tyronn Lue is trying to look on the bright side. Paul George suffered a knee injury towards the end of the regular season and wasn’t able to return in time. Kawhi Leonard lasted all of two games longer than George did, also succumbing to a knee injury of his own.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for a Clippers side that can match up with anybody in the league when healthy. That’s a “what if” that’s lingered in Tyronn Lue’s mind.

“I think the encouraging thing, with PG and Kawhi healthy, we haven’t lost a series yet,” said the Clippers coach.“It’s always in the back of your mind, ‘What if.’ It’s easy to say, ‘what if’ cause a lot of guys get hurt. It’s just been our luck the last three years.”

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It’s hardly any consolation that injuries have ultimately derailed their potential title runs more than any actual opponent. Is it better to be a bad team or one that fails to live up to its lofty ceiling? Unfulfilled potential can sometimes feel worse than not having any at all.

With Kawhi’s injury potentially seeping into next season, it might be another year of uncertainty for the Clippers in 2023-24. Tyronn Lue can draw up the greatest plays and Russell Westbrook can turn his effort level up to 11, but the team will only go as far as they can actually stay healthy and on the court.