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NBA News: Gary Payton II, Paul George updates, Willis Reed passes away

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Feb 2, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) reacts in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Injury updates for Paul George and Gary Payton II dominate the NBA news today, along with the passing of Knicks legend, Willis Reed.

As the regular season winds down, injuries and their effect on the NBA standings and playoff picture are of increasing importance. Karl-Anthony Towns returns tonight after a 51-game absence and the rest of the NBA news cycle was dominated by injury updates for Paul George and Gary Payton II, as well as the unfortunate passing of Willis Reed.

NBA news: Will Paul George play in the NBA Playoffs?

George left Tuesday night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder after colliding with Lu Dort in the air and clearly hyper-extending his knee on the landing. He needed to be helped off the court and did not return.

Today the Clippers announced a sprained knee diagnosis, with news that he will be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks. That will rule him out for the rest of the regular season and could potentially put his postseason in jeopardy. The Clippers are currently in the No. 5 seed which will keep them out of the Play-In Tournament and put them on track for a first-round series with the Phoenix Suns.

However, the Warriors, Thunder, Mavericks, Timberwolves and Jazz are all within two games of them in the standings. If the Clippers slide into the Play-In Tournament things could get messier. The tournament begins on Apr. 11, almost exactly three weeks from today, creating a scenario where the Clippers are playing for their postseason lives without George or without him fully healthy.

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