The Los Angeles Clippers have been ousted from the 2023 NBA playoffs following their defeat to the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of their first-round postseason match-up at Footprint Center. The Suns secured their spot in the Western Conference semifinals and will now face the Denver Nuggets after beating the Clippers 136-130 on Tuesday night. Despite winning the first game, the Clippers were unable to carry the momentum forward and went on to lose four games in a row, resulting in a disappointing series. Although players like Russell Westbrook and Norman Powell put in their best efforts to prolong the series. The absence of the Clippers’ two star players, Kawhi and PG.
Who were sideline due to knee injuries, proved to be too much to overcome. George’s injury, sustained in mid-March, kept him out of the entire postseason. While Leonard missed three games after spraining his knee in Game 1. Eventually playing just one more game before missing the remaining three games of the series.
The conclusion of the Clippers’ season has led many NBA fans on Twitter to question what could have been if Leonard and George had remained fit throughout the season. However, Leonard and George have had a history of injury struggles since joining the Clippers in the 2019-20 season. Which has cost the team on several significant occasions, including their game against the Suns.
Despite the Clippers’ failures, if Kawhi and PG can maintain their fitness. The team has the potential to compete for the championship. Until then, however, they will continue to fall short of expectations. Both Leonard and George have valid contracts for the 2023-24 season, with deals worth $45.6 million each. Additionally, they both have player options for 2024-25, valued at $48.8 million. Indicating that they are unlikely to be moving on anytime soon.