Kawhi Leonard’s injury update has been a concern for the Clippers and their fans since he was ruled out for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns. Leonard reportedly suffered a knee sprain during the Clippers’ Game 4 win over the Utah Jazz in the previous round, and the team has been tight-lipped about his recovery ever since.
On Thursday, the Clippers provided some clarity on the situation, announcing that Leonard would not play in Game 3 against the Suns on Thursday night. This news comes as a surprise to many, as Leonard was seen warming up on the court prior to the announcement and was considered a game-time decision.
The announcement of Leonard’s absence is a significant blow to the Clippers, who are already without their other All-Star Paul George for the second consecutive game due to a strained right hamstring. Leonard has been the team’s best player in the playoffs, averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 57.3 percent from the field.
The Clippers will now have to rely on their role players to step up and fill the void left by Leonard and George. Reggie Jackson, who has been a revelation in the playoffs, will likely take on a larger offensive load, while Marcus Morris and Terance Mann will also need to contribute on both ends of the floor.
The Suns, on the other hand, will look to take advantage of the Clippers’ injury woes and take a commanding 3-0 series lead. Phoenix has been one of the most consistent teams in the playoffs, with All-Star guard Devin Booker leading the way with 28.3 points per game.
Leonard’s injury update has left the Clippers in a tough spot, but they have proven to be a resilient team throughout the playoffs. They came back from 0-2 deficits in both of their previous series against the Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz, respectively. However, it’s unclear if they will be able to overcome the Suns without Leonard.
For now, the Clippers’ focus will be on Game 3, and they will need to find a way to win without their two best players. As for Leonard, his status for the remainder of the series is still unclear, but the Clippers will need him back sooner rather than later if they hope to advance to their first-ever NBA Finals.