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Law Murray, The Athletic Clippers Reporter

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2024 6:48 pm

Law Murray, The Athletic Clippers Reporter

JR Sports Brief / JR

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April 19, 2024 6:48 pm

Law Murray joined JR to discuss the latest health update on Kawhi Leonard and preview the Clippers-Mavs series. 

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Download it today. Law, how are you man? I feel good man. It's good to it's good to get this thing over with. This just felt like what it's like to cover a football team. A bunch of talks for five days, six days until the actual game on Sunday. I know, I know.

Well we got about a day and a half so you don't gotta wait for too much longer. Before we jump into what the hell is going on with Kawhi and his knee and the team. I understand the Clippers were fined what $25k for sitting down Westbrook a couple of other guys on Sunday and not saying anything. What was that about?

That's just a, that's just I couldn't tell you man. We've had a whole season of injury reports and I guess they thought that they could just not play guys and it would be cool because it's the end of the season. So they got a tap on the wrist for that.

Completely avoidable and that's all that there is to it. Meaningless games but they got, the NBA is watching all of these games. They all count man. Law Murray is here with us the Infinity Sports Network. Looking ahead we know we haven't seen Kawhi in weeks. Every time you look up every day his knee is sore, his knee is bothering him, he won't be available, he will be available.

It's overstated, it's understated. What's the latest with the oft injured Kawhi Leonard? Well the tough part about this whole thing is that he wasn't often injured this year. He played his most games in seven years this season.

68. He played extremely well in those games. Like he played more minutes per game this year than he has in his entire career which is saying a lot. We're talking about a two-time finals MVP, a future Hall of Famer. Even this year one of the best players in the entire league and one of the main reasons this team got home court advantage in the first round and one of the most competitive western conferences in some time which is saying a lot like you got two teams playing in the play-in tonight, both of them well over 40 wins, one of them season is going to be over. One season already ended in the Golden State Warriors the other night and so it's tough to see that Kawhi is dealing with this at this time a flare-up.

That's really all you can call it. I don't think the organization is hiding anything about a more serious injury which unfortunately for the organization if they get criticism now for how things are handled it's because of the previous instances where Kawhi had a partially torn ACL but the team didn't announce it until he had surgery for weeks after the team was eliminated in the western conference finals or last year when they said that he had a knee sprain but it was actually a meniscus tear which they knew about. They just didn't reveal it until they were eliminated so because of the way that the team has handled Kawhi's past injuries and recoveries there's going to be skepticism on what's going on now but I don't think that it's anything more than what they're saying it is.

It's inflammation. I think that if he does play game one and I'm not expecting him to play game one anymore information changes daily and it has definitely it has definitely influenced how I feel Kawhi's readiness will be. I just feel like you're not going to see in game one I think he will be ready game two or is going to push really hard to be ready for game two and whether or not you get Pete Kawhi Leonard that's an open question of whether he plays or not so I think that's the latest who knows it could be different before Sunday. Law you've covered this team all season long you talk about Kawhi playing in 68 games Paul George was out there for 74 Harden played 72 all things considered I don't think you could have asked for more when it comes down to this roster in this team in regards to participation as we do head into the postseason though what are the odds what are the chances that this team can win a championship knowing that you know hey the main guy just just went down momentarily possibly longer. I feel like the chances aren't that high but it's not a criticism of the Clippers as much as it is an acknowledgement of the strength of how good the top of the west is um even the middle of the west which is more or less where the Clippers are I think the teams that establish themselves as contenders wind up being the top three teams in the west that's Oklahoma City, Minnesota and Denver. Denver's the defending champs Oklahoma City is extremely well-rounded as far as what they do to make teams uncomfortable on both ends of the floor and then Minnesota has the best defense in the NBA this season so when you look at the Clippers you can't describe them in any of the terms we're talking about a Clippers team that hasn't won a playoff series since 2021 when Kawhi towards ACL we're talking about the oldest team in the league a team that was inconsistent defensively and there are structures in March where they were look like one of the worst defenses in the NBA but the thing about the Clippers is they do have a level they know how to play without their best players I do believe that Kawhi is going to make it back at some point uh before the end of their first series and the they're led by Serrano Lou a guy who's won a championship elsewhere and has shown that there's nothing that's going to phase him as far as deficits on availability of certain players who they're going up against like Toronto is a guy who's geared for upsets geared for comebacks within games and within series and I think that's going to be something that every team starting with the Dallas Mavericks has to consider no matter where they are in a series with the Clippers until the damn thing's over law murray covers the Clippers for the athletic you talk about Luka Doncic any given game you know he can go out there and give you 30 10 and 10 he has Kawhi they got a little bit of help now and in PJ Washington they seem to be a little bit more of a complete team than we've seen in the past what do you think happens with this series are the the Clippers going to be able to edge them out or you think the Mavs going to take it I expect the Clippers to win this thing in a game seven which means it's a coin flip series it's going to be very tough I think both teams wind up leading I think both teams wind up winning on each other's own floors and the thing with Luca is this is a well-rounded Dallas team in terms of they've improved defensively they've improved their interior presence they have Tyree Irving who is a star in his own right and the only way you beat Luca is you have to score on them you have to attack them and challenge that defense in ways that as Dallas showed that they were the best defense in the league over the last quarter of the season they didn't face teams like the Clippers they didn't face the kind of personnel over the last quarter of the season that is capable of beating you so many different ways and so a guy like James Harden for instance has to be great as a scorer as well as a facilitator I have confidence in James as being a great facilitator it's the scoring that takes a dip in the playoffs the efficiency how well he gets shots off and how willing he is to keep going when he doesn't have it but the same guys that criticize James for what his shortcomings are in the playoffs they ignore the 40-point performances in the playoffs as well they ignore the fact that he's there every year and this is the easiest task as far as like his workload is concerned he's playing especially if Kawhi's there obviously but he's playing with talent that can take the pressure off of James and allow him to be a whole lot more efficient and effective so this is going to be the most interesting first round series out of the eight that we get I don't care who we get as far as the one eight matchups but I expect that that extra push that comes with not knowing that you're guaranteed the same group of guys next year I think the Clippers are going to make sure that they win this damn thing somehow and law murray is here with us the jr sport reshow on the infinity sports network when you think about the Clippers roster the aging hall of famers still a hell of a collection of talent Russell Westbrook is now coming off of the bench you think about harden and his contract issues over the past few years win or lose what could this off season look like for the Clippers especially as they get ready to move into this new building well I think that the playoffs are going to dictate a lot of what happens and how it happens so you know we can't look at this as the off season going the same way if they win a championship or get to the finals or something as you know the same course of actions if you don't make it out of the first or second round so I think that the contract speak for themselves I mean Paul George has been extension eligible all year but I think he winds up considering whether or not to pick up his player option as a means of increasing his leverage Paul is being tasked with having to be the Clippers best player as these float playoffs start and he's been really good he had a downturn in the winter but ever since I would say mid-march he's been playing outstanding basketball and he's a guy who he's going to want to get compensated accordingly you look at James Harden the reason he's with the Clippers is because things broke down in Philadelphia and James was looking for what's the next spot that can help him win a championship while also helping him be in a position where he can earn what he feels like he's owed he's taken sacrifices before so that's going to be a consideration and then you look at even Toronto Lou uh surround I think it's going to get paid by somebody and it better damn sure be the Clippers like I don't think there's anyone who thinks that the Clippers are going to upgrade at head coach without Saron being there so but these playoffs are going to dictate especially Kawhi's health situation is going to dictate the tenure of how Saron Lou is going to approach wanting to re-up with this team so a lot is on the line here I would say everything is on the line as they look to enter a new era going into the Intuit Dome for next season the law final question for you you mentioned the Intuit Dome I've certainly seen how he wants to have a European style fan wall behind the basket special prices and admission to get the fans up and going we know about the enthusiasm of a Mr. Steve Ballmer how long is this going to last is this going to resonate with Clipper fans are they going to blow this thing up or is it rather gimmicky here at the start I don't think anything's a gimmick when it comes to the Clippers or their fans like this is something that people wanted a home court advantage playing at Staples Center now crypto.com arena downtown LA I mean there's been a good environment there this has been one of the most successful NBA franchises in Steve Ballmer's tenure there and it ain't just because of the talent because we've seen Kawhi and Paul miss significant portions of seasons and the Clippers still lined up well over five hundred so this is something where next season is just a chance for this fan base and this franchise to have a real home court advantage for the first time really ever we're going back to when they were in San Diego and in Buffalo playing in the sports arena the dilapidated sports arena by the time the Clippers were playing there so they were they were third-class citizens playing in this building and now next year yes to have a to have the wall it's like it's going to be it's going to feel different there and yes being winning team is a part of it being a team with stars is a part of it being a team that can reasonably call themselves a contender as a part of it well they're going to have a good chance to win games next year the regular season isn't the Clippers problem it's the playoffs and this playoffs look people are going to show up for the Clippers next year but how they're going to show up it's going to be bolstered by how this playoff run goes and they're going to have less of a wait for toilets too Steve Ballmer told us so I certainly can't wait for that it'll be an easy one well law thank you so much for the time where can people follow you and all of your work with the athletic yes well shout out to the athletics I actually write so you know I'm not out here just tweeting for my health we writing stories out here me and the whole staff and I'm active enough on social media so um law murray the new on all the platforms that matter all right thank you law appreciate you and let's see what those Clippers do enjoy the weekend okay thank you so much we really need new phones t-mobile will cover the cost of four amazing new iphone 15s and each line is only $25 a month new iphone 15s is better only at t-mobile get four iphone 15s on us and four lines for 25 bucks per line per month with eligible trade-in when you switch minimum of four lines for $25 per line per month with auto pay discount using debit or bank account five dollars more per line without auto pay plus taxes empties phone fees 24 monthly bill credits for qualified customers contact us before canceling account to continue bill credits or credit stop and balance on required finance agreement to $35 per line connection charge apply 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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-19 20:42:37 / 2024-04-19 20:49:08 / 7

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