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Clippers Star Players Return from Injury to Start 2022-2023 Season
By Amanda Scurlock, Sports Editor
Published October 1, 2022

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The Los Angeles Clippers will start the 2022-2023 season with their star players in good health. The talent and depth of the roster gives them the potential to be league contenders.

“I think our whole team is full of competitors,” said head coach Tyronn Lue. “I’m more so worried about our focus like just make sure that we’re focused every single day, having playoff and championship practices every single day.”

Clippers forward Paul George (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

On Tuesday, forward Kawhi Leonard participated in five-on-five gameplay for the first time since June 2021. He suffered an ACL tear as the Clippers went to their first-ever appearance in the Western Conference Finals. Clippers forward Paul George was excited about him being healthy.

“I got to watch from the outside to see how much work he put into this year,” George said. “After that, it’s the excitement of getting to play with the best two-way player in the game.”

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One of the Clippers newest additions is guard John Wall. During his career, he scored 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 9.1 assists per game. Center Ivica Zubac acknowledged how his speed will impact their pick-and-roll situations.

On June 28, guard John Wall signed a two-year, $13.2 million deal with the Clippers (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“I think he’s been doing that with big guys his whole career and he’s really great at it,” Zubac said. “I’m looking forward to the training camp, to the beginning of the season to work with him.”

George desires to win a championship for the Clippers and has holding his teammates accountable. He implemented team workouts at different gyms and held a team camp in San Diego during the summer.

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“Us having summer camp, working out; [George] taking on that leadership,” Guard Reggie Jackson said. “Getting guys together, making sure guys are working out, making sure they’re ready to go.”

In February, the Clippers executed a trade with the Portland Trailblazers that brought forward Robert Covington and guard Norman Powell. Powell and Leonard reunite after winning a championship in Toronto in 2019.

Clippers guard Reggie Jackson (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“He’s good at on-ball defense, definitely can shoot, he’s improved his scoring, his passing since I played with him with the Raptors,” Kawhi said. “Covington just brings us another guy that could guard multiple positions and stretch that floor out for us.”

Guard Reggie Jackson is excited to see the process; he is confident in the depth of the team.

Tyronn Lue is heading into his third season of being a head coach of the L.A. Clippers (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“In terms of our depth, guy’s accomplishments, having positions filled, having the length, having the guys, the maturation level that we’re at and hopefully it continues through the season,” Jackson said. “You know we’re gonna have our ups and downs, we know things are gonna be thrown at us.”

The Clippers start their season with an away game against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 20.

“I think everybody in the organization is excited, there’s definitely a buzz around the building,” Powell said. “Everybody’s just upbeat and positive and I really feel like this is a great time for us.”

Categories: Basketball | Sports
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