Last Word On Basketball

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Load Management

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 20: L.A. Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard celebrates donation of One Million backpacks from Baby2Baby, Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers to students across Los Angeles at 107th Street Elementary on August 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)

The Los Angeles Clippers and their load management situation has put an interesting spin on the league this year. One of the star players for the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard, is no doubt one of the best players in the league. Combining him with one of the deepest benches in the league is a recipe for success. But the Clippers are currently sitting at 8-5, and in sixth place in the Western Conference. Many fans around the league are blaming Leonard’s lack of play due to load management for the Clippers’ slow start to the season. If Leonard continues to sit out back-to-backs, the Clippers might not fully get the team chemistry they desperately need to get out of the tough Western Conference.

Load Managing for the Los Angeles Clippers

It’s no secret that the Clippers have had a disappointing start to the season, despite the level of talent and depth their roster has. The Clippers are arguably the best defensive team in the league, arguably the deepest team in the league, and arguably one of the best offensive teams in the league. But the reason why the Clippers are off to a slow start is because of the lack of continuity with the roster from game to game. Leonard sitting out back-to-backs are hindering the Clippers from reaching their full potential

Leonard’s partner in crime, Paul George, made his debut Thursday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. George contributed well in the absence of Leonard, producing 33 points in just 24 minutes. George turned around and had another phenomenal game last night against the Atlanta Hawks, dropping 37 points in just 20 minutes. He has looked great to start the season, but it will be interesting to see how Leonard and George will share the ball. It’ll also be interesting to see how the Clippers manage George’s injury. George has been battling a shoulder injury dating back to last season, and if the Clippers are handling it how they’re handling Leonard–he’ll miss games due to load management too.

What it Means With Two Stars Out

With Leonard skipping every back-to-back appearance, and George potentially doing the same, the Clippers could be in some trouble. On any given night the Clippers could have a superstar performance by a superstar player if they decide to have George and Leonard switch off games. Although, the Clippers need to find a way to implement both of them in the lineup, and have them stick there. The Clippers need to find a way to boost the team’s chemistry and find a way to get Leonard and George to start playing games. The Clippers’ roster is as talented as it gets, but without chemistry, they won’t go far–especially in the Western Conference.

On top of implementing them into the roster, they need to be acclimated to playing a lot of games throughout the season. The playoffs are a different breed, and if the players aren’t conditioned enough, there could be trouble awaiting the Clippers. Although Leonard and George are two of the games best, it never hurts to overprepare for the tough battles in the Western Conference playoffs. The Clippers need to be careful with how they deal with load management, or else things could get tough for them come April.

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