LA Clippers head coach Ty Lue recently announced that Paul George, Marcus Morris, and Nicolas Batum will be out for the pre-season opener vs. the Denver Nuggets. This is in addition to Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, and Jason Preston who are all sidelined due to injuries.
While coach Lue's approach to the pre-season is not unlike most head coaches, who often rest their veterans until later, the Clippers will be going up against a Nuggets team that is without Nikola Jokic.
The 2021 league MVP has recently rejoined his team after the birth of his daughter; however, coach Michael Malone says his superstar center will not suit up against the Clippers on Monday. Mike Singer of the Denver Post reported on Saturday that coach Malone had ruled Jokic out for the pre-season opener against the Clippers, and while Jokic has rejoined the team since then, he is still not expected to play.
After Monday's opener, the Clippers will play three more pre-season games before beginning their regular season against the Golden State Warriors, and the Nuggets will play four more exhibitions before beginning their regular season against the Phoenix Suns.
If previous years are any indication, expect to see players like Paul George and Nikola Jokic begin ramping up their workload towards the end of the pre-season. For now, fans will have to wait to see each team's star player until a later date.