Facing elimination in Game 5 in Phoenix, the Los Angeles Clippers are still assembling ranks for the Tuesday matchup with the Suns
Health concerns linger for the All-Star duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who hasn't played in the series but worked out before Monday's practice.
Clippers coach Ty Lue said Leonard was receiving treatment on Monday and his status was up in the air for Game 5
Lue said it's "always a possibility" he will return.
"He's definitely hurt. It's not load management where he's taking time off," Lue said. "He's shown in his past that he's played through injuries in the playoffs. If it's something he can't play through, then it has to be pretty serious."
Lue said "who cares" what the "outside is saying" about Leonard's availability and criticism his injury isn't legitimate. Leonard played in Game 1, leading the Clippers to a win to open the series, and again in Game 2. But he wasn't able to play in the two games in Los Angeles as the Suns took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series
If Leonard is cleared and says he's ready to go, Lue said he wouldn't hesitate to put him on the floor after the layoff.
Mason Plumlee said the Clippers are relying on a "very different offense" without Leonard and George. But Los Angeles believes winning in Phoenix is possible
"We just have to go get one in Phoenix and go from there," Plumlee said.
George is "progressing" by Lue's estimation but hasn't played since March 21 because of a hyperextended knee.
--Field Level Media