Clippers: Head coach Ty Lue told Paul George and Kawhi Leonard ‘Let’s be serious’ about the regular season

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Paul George and Kawhi Leonard Clippers pic

In 2022-23, the LA Clippers finished 5th in the Western Conference with a 44-38 record. Their first-round matchup in the 2023 postseason was the Phoenix Suns. They lost the series in five games. Recently, head coach Ty Lue went on SHOWTIME Basketball’s All The Smoke podcast. He told co-hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson that he had a serious talk with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard this offseason. 

Both George and Leonard joined the Clippers for the start of the 2019-20 season. Since that time, both have struggled with injuries and have had trouble playing anything close to a full season. When healthy, they are on the list for some of the top two-way players in the NBA. However, George and Leonard have yet to play at least 60 games in four seasons with the Clippers.

That’s why Ty Lue says that his two all-star forwards need to approach the regular season differently in 2023-24. It will be interesting how George and Leonard respond to that constructive criticism. It’s not usually something veteran players are told, but Lue isn’t afraid to get serious with his top players on their roster.

What can Paul George and Kawhi Leonard do to keep themselves healthy for the 2023-24 season?

In 2022-23, Paul George played in 56 games and Kawhi Leonard played in 52 games for the Clippers. That is the most games George has played since joining the team in 2019-20. Leonard’s 52 games played matches the total he played during the 2020-21 season. He missed the entire 2021-22 season with an ACL injury. It’s safe to say that the two all-stars have not delivered for the Clippers when it matters,

However, it’s something that can be changed. Head coach Ty Lue and his coaching staff are going to help George and Leonard approach the regular season differently next season. He told them “Let’s not wait until the playoffs,” because the regular season is still important. Lue stressed having a home-court advantage and not having to fight to make the postseason in the final 10 games of the regular season.

He said that both players understood the message. There will no longer be a lack of urgency for the Clippers during the regular season. Ty Lue is going to get his star players ready to be available for a majority of their games next season. Under the league’s new CBA, players are not eligible for end-of-the-season awards if they haven’t played at least 65 games. That could be a target number of games that George and Leonard could look to play in next season.