clippers must feel urgency kawhi leonard paul

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On Friday afternoon, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue announced that superstar forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are questionable to return Saturday vs. the Kings.

For Los Angeles, the news is crucial. Since acquiring the tandem in 2019, the two have only appeared in 84 of a possible 249 games together — or 33.7 percent. George and Leonard sharing the court is a rare occasion, thus making photos of the two practicing together similarly scarce.

The Clippers are three games back of first in the Western Conference. The team went 10-6 in November, with only three 13 games featuring one of their stars.

Los Angeles can’t continue to operate without Leonard and George. When the two play together, the Clippers win 73.8 percent of games. Without them, they’re a play-in team. Role players such as Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris and Norman Powell are overextending, and the team’s overflow of depth isn’t as dangerous without its main pieces. 

More worrisome, the Clippers’ championship window is shrinking. George and Leonard are both in their thirties and share a deep history of injuries — not giving the training staff any reasons to be incautious.

Los Angeles is in year four of the Leonard-George era, and only has a Western Conference Finals appearance to show for it. Considering the team just played a whole season without Leonard and with a minimal version of George, there must be a sense of urgency for the franchise cornerstones to return. 

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