Kawhi Leonard struggling with his shot, but Clippers coach Doc Rivers isn’t worried

first_img Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ “Landry told me – listen, guys tell me things that aren’t true, I think you already know that – but Landry told me the other day that he’s traveling with us,” Rivers said. “I asked him, ‘Does that mean playing?’ And he says, ‘I wouldn’t be traveling if not.’”George said he’ll welcome Shamet onto the court. The two haven’t played together yet; George returned from rehabbing offseason shoulder surgeries on Nov. 14, three days after Shamet was hurt in the Clippers’ win over the Raptors.“Another guy who spaces the floor, another guy who plays defense, a weapon on both ends,” George said. “That’s what we’re adding back to our group.”Rivers added that Rodney McGruder, out with a right hamstring strain, also could return soon – at least according to McGruder: “Rodney told me he’s playing Friday. I don’t believe that, I can tell you that. But that may be true. I don’t know. We’ll find out.” The 6-foot-7 forward has been brilliant in other respects, including averaging a career-high 7.9 rebounds per game, to go with nearly two steals per contest and contributing a career-best 5.3 assists per game, almost three more than his professional average.“What I loved, honestly, I thought he set the tone with this passing,” Rivers said Tuesday, when Leonard finished with five assists. “He kind of let the game come to him. He got everybody else going first, then he tried to get himself going, and he couldn’t do that tonight. But I love that he was getting everybody else going.”SEE YOU SOON?Rivers said he couldn’t verify the veracity of the information, but he’s heard from a relatively reliable source (Landry Shamet) that Landry Shamet could return to the court during the team’s upcoming six-games-in-nine-days trip. The second-year guard has missed the past 12 games with a high left ankle sprain.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum center_img For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory “First thing he said when he sat on the bench is, ‘My goodness, am I getting great shots.’ Right now, they’re not going in, but they will. You know they will. I love the shots he’s getting.”Leonard, who left Staples Center without addressing the media Tuesday, has mentioned he wasn’t able to work on his game as usual this offseason and has subsequently remained unavailable to play back-to-back games with what the NBA reported was an ongoing injury to the patella tendon. It’s possible that it’s just a matter of finding a consistent rhythm.Also, he and the rest of the still-jelling Clippers concede that their chemistry remains a work in progress.“I think right now everybody is, in a good way, like, ‘Hey I just got a good look, I got me a shot.’ Or, ‘Hey, you got a mismatch, you take him.’ It’s been that kind of feel,” said Paul George, Leonard’s All-Star sidekick. “I think once we get to a point where we’re just playing, the ball moves around, the ball hops around, and we show that throughout a game … once we continue to keep playing, we’ll build that chemistry.”Although Leonard is shooting a subpar-for-him 43.9 percent from the field through 16 games for the Clippers (16-6), he has scored 25 or more points in 10 of those contests. Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime No, Kawhi Leonard’s shot wasn’t hitting the mark in the Clippers’ 117-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, when he finished 3 for 15 from the floor.And yes, he was similarly, woefully off-target Nov. 11, when the Clippers faced his former team, defeating the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors 98-88 despite a 2-for-11 line from Leonard.But it’s going to take more than a couple of dud shooting nights from the career 49.2 percent shooter to concern Coach Doc Rivers.“I tell you, he had great shots, so I don’t attribute it to much of anything,” Rivers said after Tuesday’s game, which was one of only five in Leonard’s career in which he took 10 or more shots and made 20 percent or fewer of them.last_img read more

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