It was reported that George will be out for at least a few more weeks as he recovers from a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right shooting elbow.
Paul George will be out for a few more weeks, @wojespn reported on NBA Today. George suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right shooting elbow and has been out since Dec. 22. The Clippers want to give PG’s elbow more time to heal.
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) January 18, 2022
Since his exit in December, the Clippers have gone 5-8 without him.
The team desperately needs their star player back – especially since they’re still missing another one – but it sounds like they will have to accept that he’s not going to be on the floor soon.
What George Brings
The Clippers knew that this season was going to be tough even before it began.
That’s because they had already lost Kawhi Leonard before the first tip-off, due to an ACL injury he suffered last year in the second round of the playoffs.
So the Clippers knew they’d be without Leonard for the foreseeable future, maybe even the entire season.
That’s why it was required that George step up this season and become the team leader that he hasn’t been in the past.
Things only got worse as the season picked up speed thanks to COVID restrictions and other injuries.
However, George was more than willing to step up and meet the moment and he indeed did become a leader for his squad.
Aside from enhancing his play-making abilities and performing with more enthusiasm and determination, George also began to come alive on the court in new ways.
His average for this season so far is 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists a game.
There was talk of the Clippers actually making it far into the postseason even without Leonard.
Then George became injured and everything was thrown up in the air once again.
While the team had a chance at success while missing Leonard, the likelihood of them still succeeding without George as well just feels like a mountain too high to climb.
The Clippers Need Help
The results have been so-so, with some flashes of brilliance but never enough power to push a team into the postseason and beyond.
There have been some surprising moments without George, like when the Clippers beat the Brooklyn Nets on New Year’s Day.
But there have also been some serious lows, like when they fell to the New Orleans Pelicans, 113-89, or when they got trounced by the Minnesota Timberwolves, 122-104.
There hasn’t been consistency and that’s key for a team to survive.
It’s very obvious that the team cannot make it far without George and Leonard.
There has been some speculation that George might not actually return at all this season.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 12, 2022
If that’s the case, the team should really accept that this entire season is a wash and should just hold out hope for next year.
If George returns and plays like he was, the Clippers could easily push back into playoff contention.
But if he’s out for much longer than a few more weeks, their chances are all but gone.