A few hours before their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night, the Los Angeles Clippers announced that Kawhi Leonard would not be in the lineup because of a left leg contusion, and it’s not clear when he’ll be back in the lineup.
Speaking to reporters pre-game, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said Leonard apparently suffered the injury during the team’s recent road trip, but didn’t offer much in the way of specifics.
“I’m not quite sure when it happened,” Lue said. “Or when he is going to be back.”
A leg contusion doesn’t sound serious, and there shouldn’t be any long-term concern here for Leonard or the Clippers. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s out of the lineup for the next few games, especially considering they have a busy week ahead.
Including Sunday’s game against the Cavs, the Clippers play five times in the next eight days, including three in a row against the Utah Jazz and Brooklyn Nets. If Leonard ends up missing those contests, this is going to be an extremely difficult stretch for the Clippers.
Because not only is Leonard now out, but Paul George is still sidelined indefinitely because of a foot injury. He hasn’t played since Feb. 3 against the Cavaliers, and there’s no timeline for his return either — though he was spotted on the court getting shots up on Sunday.
L.A.’s star duo has been terrific this season, averaging a combined 51.1 points, 12.1 rebounds, 10.5 assists and four steals per game. When they’ve been on the court together, the Clippers have been somewhat unstoppable, outscoring teams by 21.3 points per 100 possessions. However, when they’ve both been off the floor, the Clippers are being outscored by 7.5 points per 100 possessions.