The Pacers host the Clippers for their annual visit to the Fieldhouse on Monday night. The only chance for fans from Central Indiana and surrounding metro areas within driving distance to watch Kawhi Leonard and Paul George play in person.
But will they actually play?
One will likely play, but both appears doubtful based on reports following the Clippers 135-119 win (via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk) in Washington on Sunday evening. Both stars played on Sunday and while they tried to manage their minutes, the Wizards made them earn it until the final five minutes. It looked like LAC would get an early 3Q knockout after pushing their one-point halftime lead to 16 midway thru the third, but the Wiz cut the lead to four in the fourth before the Clippers finished strong.
Kawhi Leonard played 32 minutes while PG logged 26 minutes as the duo combined for 61 points. Following the game, Doc Rivers indicated maybe one of PG or Kawhi would play against the Pacers, but not both. Considering Kawhi played more and was seen checking his knee in the second half, he seems the most likely candidate for rest.
Plus, PG is finally in his ideal situation and playing incredible, so surely he wouldn’t miss the opportunity for a triumphant return to Indy. He indicated he plans to play when asked after the game on Sunday night.
George, who scored 27 points to go with six rebounds and six assists, said he plans on playing against his former team on Monday night.
”I spent the longest part of my career in Indiana,” said George, who was in Indiana for seven seasons after the Pacers drafted him in 2010. “A lot of those people there are still family to me. So, absolutely, it’ll always be [of] significance coming back to Indiana.”
One out of two ain’t bad and if you are a Pacers fan focused solely on wins and losses, the home team obviously gets a break if Kawhi takes the night off. But it will also continue a several year trend star players sitting out a game when they come through Indy.
Check out the links: