The Clippers are the hottest team in the NBA, but they'll be facing a whole new challenge in the coming days.
After a bumpy 6-4 start to the season, the Clippers have rattled off seven straight to ascend to the top of the Western Conference standings. The schedule is going to start heating up as soon as Tuesday.
The Clippers will start a six-game road trip on Tuesday with games against Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, New York, Brooklyn and Cleveland. To make matters worse, there's a good chance both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George miss most of the six-game stretch.
Los Angeles has ruled both Leonard and George out for Tuesday night's game against the Hawks. Why? Both stars have been ruled out because of health and safety protocols.
It's going to be a rough stretch for the Clippers without their two top players. Whether or not PG and Kawhi have actually tested positive for COVID-19 or were merely exposed to it will determine the protocols for their return.
Kawhi Leonard has been phenomenal this season so far, dropping 25.9 points per game to go along with 5.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds. Paul George, meanwhile, is averaging 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists through 16 games this season.
The Clippers are finally starting to play like a cohesive unit, led by Kawhi and PG, but that cohesiveness will take a hit these next few games. We'll find out what Los Angeles is made of without two of its best stars on the court.
The Clippers begin their six-game road trip Tuesday night in a showdown with the Atlanta Hawks.