NBA insider Brian Windhorst is concerned about Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard.
On a recent episode of NBA Today on ESPN, Windhorst said: “I don’t think Kawhi [Leonard] looks great.”
The ESPN employee went on to say, “He’s not moving well in my opinion… When he takes these games off and rests, I get it because he doesn’t look good.”
“I don’t think Kawhi [Leonard] he looks very good… In my opinion, he is not moving well… When he takes these games off and rests, I understand it because he does not look good.”
— 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣’ 𝙉𝘽𝘼 (@_Talkin_NBA) December 16, 2022
For Clippers fans, it’s disappointing to hear that.
A healthy Kawhi Leonard is vital if LA is to have any chance of challenging for a title this season.
If Leonard isn’t the devastating two-way force he’s been throughout his career, the Clippers face a tall order to win it all.
Kawhi’s stint with the Clippers was marred by injuries
Injuries have been the sad reality for most of Leonard’s career, but especially with the Clippers.
Since signing with the team in the 2019 offseason, Kawhi has appeared in 120 of a possible 258 games.
82 of those missed games were due to Leonard missing the entirety of the 2021-22 season after partially tearing his ACL in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Even after a full season of recovery, Kawhi is still on the mend.
Leonard has appeared in just 11 of the 32 games the Clippers have played this season.
In those 11 contests, he is averaging 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 26.5 minutes per game.
His .444/.233/.732 shooting divisions are the worst marks of his career.
Leonard is now 31 years old, and it looks like injuries could be catching him up.
While the season stats don’t leap off the page, Leonard apparently turned the page in December.
During the calendar month, Leonard has started six of nine possible contests.
In those six games, Leonard averaged 19.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 30 minutes per game.
Shooting splits were better than his first five games (.455/.286/.714 vs. .422/.133/.769) and he came to the line more regularly.
Kawhi Leonard yesterday:
—Jamal Cristopher (@JamCristopher) December 18, 2022
The recent streak was punctuated with a 31-point, 9-rebound, 3-steal effort in 32 minutes in a win against the Washington Wizards.
Just one day after Windhorst’s comments on NBA Today.
Perhaps the concern for Leonard was a bit premature.
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