Paul George believes this factor cost Clippers series against Suns
The Los Angeles Clippers lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games in the Western Conference Finals, and Paul George thinks the outcome would have been different if not for one key factor.
George said after Wednesday’s loss that he believes the Clippers would have won the series had Kawhi Leonard been healthy. Leonard missed the entire series with a knee injury he suffered in the second round against Utah.
“We’d be going on,” George said when asked how the series would have gone with Leonard involved, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “This series would be a lot different. Talk about one of the best players in the league being out, yet we were inches away from getting to the next round.
“So, definitely it’s a ‘what if’ on this. Fact of the matter is we didn’t do enough to win, and that’s the reason we’re going home.”
On one hand, George has a point. It’s hard to play such a big series against a team like that without a player of Leonard’s caliber. On the other hand, the Suns were without arguably their best player in Chris Paul for the first two games of the series, and Phoenix won both of those games anyway. Perhaps the series goes differently if George and the Clippers had seen out Game 2.
Leonard is eligible to become a free agent this summer. While the consensus is that he’s most likely to remain with the Clippers, some teams appear likely to try to tempt him away.