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Will Paul George play for the Clippers in first round of 2023 NBA playoffs?

The Clippers SF has a knee injury. We break down and update you on his status for the playoffs.

Oklahoma City Thunder v LA Clippers
Paul George of the LA Clippers smiles during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 21, 2023 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers are the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference for the 2023 NBA playoffs, taking on the No. 4 seed Phoenix Suns in the first round. This matchup of division rivals features two teams hoping to create a new legacy with a championship. The Clippers have not been able to make the Finals since bringing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George into the fold in 2019, while the Suns are trying to get back to the Finals after a disappointing ending to last season. George’s status for this series is in doubt after he suffered a knee injury on March 21. Here are the latest updates on his status.

Paul George injury updates

April 14 update - According to head coach Tyronn Lue, George will not return until his knee is 100%. That means he’s likely to miss the entire first round, not just the beginning of the series. That would obviously be a huge blow to the Clippers, who believe they can legitimately take the Suns with George and Kawhi Leonard healthy. If George is sidelined the whole series, Norman Powell and Nicolas Batum will have bigger roles. Eric Gordon will also see more shots.

According to Shams Charania, George is expected to be sidelined for the start of this series. However, he is making good progress towards a return and that means there’s some hope he will eventually come back to the team in time to make a difference.

George averaged 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game for the Clippers this season. More importantly, he has served as a great facilitator in this offense and takes some scoring pressure off Leonard. In this series, the Clippers will miss George’s defensively versatility as well, since they’ll have to contend with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

The Suns are currently -600 to win the series at DraftKings Sportsbook. If George doesn’t come back by Game 3, it’s hard to see the Clippers being able to push this series to the limit.