When Doc Rivers was asked about Kawhi Leonard Sunday, he said there was no timetable but let leak this little tidbit — George would start doing 5-on-5 work this week. Full-contact 5-on-5 practices are the final step before a player returns to the court.
Now it looks like that return could be next week, reports Sam Amick of The Athletic.
In terms of a specific return date for George, sources tell The Athletic the Clippers are focused on the back-to-back set of road games at Houston (Nov. 13) and New Orleans (Nov. 14). If he plays against the Rockets, he’s not expected to play in the Pelicans game.
That guestimation is not new around the league, it just seems more concrete now.
He may start earlier, next Monday night at home against Toronto, but teams often like to bring guys back on road games where there is a little less pressure, less media on hand. They may hold him out both ends of the back-to-back and play him against Atlanta.
Either way, he likely starts playing next week… which should scare the rest of the league.
The Clippers are 5-2 and, when Leonard has played (he is out Wednesday night vs. the Bucks), they have looked as good as any team in the NBA. Already.
Next week they add the guy who finished third in the MVP voting last season, and more importantly another lunch pail guy who is a grinder and plays strong defense. When all the pieces come together, this team will be scary.