The Los Angeles Clippers have the biggest game of their season tonight, but they will have to play the final Western Conference play-in game of the NBA Playoffs without their star after Paul George tested positive for COVID on Friday afternoon.
The Clippers have already had to play the entire season without superstar small forward Kawhi Leonard, who is rehabbing from an ACL surgery, and Paul George himself has only played in 31 games this year as he’s battled injuries, including a torn UCL.
However, Los Angeles is a different team with George in the fold, rattling off a five-game win streak heading into tonight’s showdown. As we covered in our game preview, George is also one of the team’s best perimeter defenders and was likely going to be a focal point in the attempt to stop Pelicans’ shooting guard CJ McCollum.
George started to feel symptoms on Thursday and underwent testing, which confirmed the positive diagnosis.
For more Tailgate Sports NBA news like this Clippers story, click here
When on the court, the veteran has been a driving force for the team, averaging 24.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists this season. Despite Los Angeles losing their first play-in game to Minnesota, George was playing some of his best basketball, finishing with 34 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the loss.
It will certainly be a challenge for the team to overcome his absence, but if George wants to play another game this season, he will have to hope that they can pull it off tonight.