3 adjustments the Clippers need to make without Kawhi Leonard

Los Angeles Clippers, NBA Playoffs

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The loss of Kawhi Leonard means tough things ahead for the Clippers, but they still have a chance if they make the following adjustments against the Jazz.

Clippers nation woke up to some bad news on Wednesday, following the announcement Kawhi Leonard will miss Game 5 against the Jazz with a knee sprain he suffered in Game 4. Leonard’s status for the rest of the series is also said to be in doubt, as reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania later reported that the injury is feared to be an ACL tear.

The timing couldn’t be worse, as Los Angeles managed to post back-to-back wins at home to even the series at two games apiece. Now things get tougher without their best player and heading into Utah where the Jazz have played well all season.

It’s not impossible, but if the Clippers want to advance to their first Western Conference Finals in franchise history, they’ll need to make some adjustments going forward.

3. Paul George needs to step into two-way player role

If there was ever a time for Paul George to rise to the occasion and silence his critics, it’s now. He’ll get his opportunity, and the Clippers will look for him to step into the superstar role Kawhi has played during this series.

Leonard and George share the same ability as two-way players. When locked in, George can have his presence felt on both sides of the ball.

George rose to the occasion in Los Angeles, averaging 31 points on 48 percent from the field in the two wins for the Clippers. The big question will be whether or not George can carry this performance into Utah, now without Leonard taking the pressure off the rest of the team.

In the team’s first two losses in Salt Lake City, George averaged 23.5 points on 34 percent from the field. Just which version of “Playoff P” we’ll see for the remainder of the series remains to be seen, but he can cement his legacy among the NBA’s elite by carrying the Clippers to a series win.

That being said, it shouldn’t fall on George entirely, Los Angeles will the rest of the team to step up in Leonard’s absence as well.

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