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Clippers takeaways: Team’s skid reaches five at midway point



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From left, the Clippers' John Wall, Kawhi Leonard and Nicolas Batum watch the team's loss at Denver on Jan. 5, 2023.

From left, the Clippers’ John Wall, Kawhi Leonard and Nicolas Batum watch from the bench because the crew loses at Denver on Thursday night time.

(David Zalubowski / Related Press)

The Clippers’ season-worst, 122-91 loss Thursday night time in Denver set the stage: Would Leonard play on consecutive nights for the primary time this season?

That it was even a query stemmed from Lue’s determination to bench his starters at halftime Thursday with the Clippers trailing by 34 factors, partially to protect their relaxation forward of the following day’s sport in Minnesota. Leonard didn’t agree with the decision, saying Thursday night time that it was a time “after we have to be in there and dig ourselves out of these holes and be taught what we’re doing as a substitute of flipping the web page and going to the following sport.”

Leonard’s season-low 18 minutes and George’s season-low 13 in Denver left open the potential of each taking part in the following day in Minneapolis, because the crew listed them as questionable. However each have been held out, with George sidelined to guard a hamstring he tweaked Monday.

Lue and Leonard mentioned Thursday that they hope sooner or later this season Leonard can be cleared to play each ends of back-to-back video games, however that figures to be a fastidiously scripted second the crew can plan for days prematurely or longer. The surprising blowout and benching Thursday made it a extra sudden chance, however it seemingly was too in need of discover for a crew that’s particularly cautious with well being. Wall additionally has but to play each nights of a back-to-back.

Enjoying on consecutive nights is necessary to Leonard, as it will set a benchmark in his sturdiness this season after he missed final season due to an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his proper knee.

“Attempting to ascertain video games with me hitting these excessive 30-minute marks,” mentioned Leonard, who had averaged 36.9 minutes within the six video games previous the Denver rout. “Simply going to maintain constructing and see the place it goes.”

And the place the Clippers’ season goes from here’s a query that ranks among the many most fascinating within the NBA.