CM – Injured Clippers Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley are making progress


And so coach Tyronn Lue was happy about Kawhi Leonard (foot pain) and – surprise! – Patrick Beverley (broken hand) was able to take part in the Clippers shootaround before their game against the suns.

Of course, neither player is ready to return to the game, and Lue cannot offer a schedule of when they are expected back. But the trainer might share this: Two of the Clippers’ key gears are on their way back; Beverley in particular has made « great strides » and they are working to ensure that both of them are trapped in the game book when they officially re-enter the fight.

Beverley has been out since sustaining a broken fourth metacarpal in his left hand in the last Clippers victory over the Suns on April 9th. He missed 11 games and is counting. Leonard, the five-time all-star, has missed eight of the Clippers’ last nine games, seven of them due to a right foot injury.

Beverley’s teammates weren’t expecting to see him on this three game road trip, Lue said, and his presence at the final stop brought them with them.

« He actually came on the trip yesterday and surprised the team, » Lue said of Zoom before dropping off from Phoenix on Wednesday. « It was good to have him with you, nice to see him, so he surprised the team when he walked in. And like I said, he’s just made great progress. »

And while he wasn’t cleared for competition, Leonard was with the team on that road trip and on the previous three-game swing of the Clippers, masked and in his front row seat on the bench for each game.

« Just the effect of your leader, I think with him and PG leading the team, he wanted to travel and try to play, » Lue said. « It didn’t happen, it didn’t work out that way, but still being on the bench, still being positive, still talking to the guys, still being in all the film sessions, all the exercises and passages.

“Just having him there means a lot to our team. It means a lot to our young people to see him there, be positive and stay in the ears of these guys to do the right thing and to help as much as possible.  »

At both meetings this season, the Clippers and Suns talked – as veteran Rajon Rondo may put it, because that’s how he prefers it.

« I love to have a little chat, » said Rondo after the Clippers beat the Suns at the Staples Center earlier this month. “And they pretty much started in the first half. Other than that, I was just trying to play the game, but it’s a bit of a gossip at times.  »

For years, Rondo, the Clippers’ new point guard, has been talking to Sun’s point guard Chris Paul, the former Clippers star.

There were reports of smoldering hostilities between the two from 2009, nine years before their season opening at the Staples Center in 2018, when Rondo was a Laker and Paul was a member of the Houston Rockets. This fracus led to multiplayer bans for both point guards.

Recently, Rondo got a word into their ongoing dialogue after they surrendered earlier this month and was happy to explain how he smelled one of Phoenix’s pieces: « I mean, they screamed it. No. 3 on the other team yelled it out quickly and loudly. I just kind of yelled it back to my teammates.  »

@FlyByKnite was always astute and asked Rondo when he called out Phoenix ‘piece and what pointed out to him.

Always astute, Rondo: « I mean, you screamed it. No. 3 on the other team screamed it quickly and loudly. I just kind of yelled it back to my teammates. »

In his 15 NBA seasons, Rondo has won two NBA titles and was an All-Star selection four times.

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In its 16th season, Paul – an eleven-time All-Star and sure Hall of Famer – has averaged 8.7 assists per game (top 5 in the NBA) and has got Phoenix ranked for the top seed in the Western Conference fight.

« I think if you play against yourself you will always have a problem, » said Lue. “These are two relapse guards who hate to lose and compete against each other at a high level and dominate the game with their pass. They just hate to lose.

« They really are the same person so I think if you go up against yourself you are going to have controversy and this is what happened to these two guys.

“I know the respect is there for what these two guys have done in the league and throughout their careers. Both guys hate to lose and to compete at a high level.  »

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