For the first time this season, the Clippers will be able to play their All-Star forwards together.
Kawhi Leonard is expected to take the floor against the Celtics on Wednesday night, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ohm Youngmisuk, after missing the Clippers’ previous three games with a left knee contusion. Barring any last-minute setbacks, Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers will finally be able to pair Leonard with Paul George in the starting lineup.
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“It’ll be great,” Clippers center Ivica Zubac said of both Leonard and George being available (via The Athletic’s Jovan Buha). “We’re really good with only Kawhi. We’re really good with only PG. You put them two together, it’s gotta be good. We’ll see it tonight. But I’m really excited.”
Kawhi Leonard, who is listed as questionable tonight vs. Boston, is getting shots up at shootaround. We hadn’t seen him at the past two shootarounds here. pic.twitter.com/SsgoikXwgm
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) November 20, 2019
Leonard has played in nine of the Clippers’ first 14 games, averaging 26.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.1 steals per game. George, who missed the start of the 2019-20 campaign following offseason surgeries on both shoulders and made his debut Thursday against the Pelicans, has been terrific with Leonard out. The 29-year-old has posted 29.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 56.3 percent from the field and 52.2 percent from 3-point range in his first three games.
Despite the health issues with their two stars, the Clippers find themselves at 9-5 overall with the sixth-best net rating in the NBA. The Leonard-George duo will start with a significant test, though, as the Celtics enter Wednesday’s contest with the best record in the Eastern Conference (11-2).