The LA Clippers could be without a few key pieces for a more extended period than we initially expected.
Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet, both of whom missed Wednesday's contest with the Denver Nuggets due to injury, were considered to have non-serious ailments. And while that may still be true, they could be held out through the seeding games and into the postseason.
Before the game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers couldn't give an exact date for their return and said the two could remain out into the first round of the playoffs.
"I don't know," Rivers said. "I'm hopeful. I think that it could extend [into the playoffs], but I don't want to say that yet. So I would say I'm hopeful."
It seems safe to assume that the Clippers are being cautious here so that they don't compromise either player's chances of playing deep into the postseason, but it is a bit worrying to know that they could miss significant time.
Beverley is one of the best players on the roster and is right behind Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in terms of importance to the team. His presence on both ends of the floor is crucial to LA's performance, though he's especially useful on the defensive end, where he sets the tone for the rest of the team.
Shamet, on the other hand, was a new addition to the Clippers' injury report on Tuesday. The sharpshooter has struggled in the bubble, but his ability to knock down the deep ball came in handy for LA's first-round series with the Golden State Warriors in 2019.
On the bright side, the Clippers will be getting Montrezl Harrell back shortly, as the star reserve is currently quarantining after arriving in Orlando over the weekend. Assuming all goes well, he could make his bubble debut on Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After defeating the Nuggets on Wednesday, LA officially clinched the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and will meet the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the Playoffs. If Beverley and Shamet end up missing the first few games of the series, it could drag on longer than we expected.