The Kawhi Leonard injury dealt a huge blow to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals and the latest update on the ACL isn’t promising for one of the NBA’s biggest stars.
Leonard suffered a knee injury in Game 4 when he landed awkwardly on his right leg and was forced to sit out for the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. After initially being ruled out for Game 5, concern turned to panic in Los Angeles with the Clippers fearing he suffered an ACL injury.
The Clippers suddenly had to prepare themselves for life without their biggest star in the remainder of the series against the Utah Jazz. Paul George did come through in the clutch, delivering a victory in Game 5 and a 3-2 series lead., but the concern with Leonard’s ACL is very real.
“There’s no chance he’s playing in Game 6, or if there is a Game 7 in this series. There’s not a lot of optimism that Kawhi, Leonard, you know, is going to be in a place where he can play again, even if the Clippers advance”ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Get Up regarding Kawhi Leonard injury
George and the Clippers will face the Jazz on Friday at the Staples Center and a victory would send Los Angeles to the Western Conference Finals. But, barring a miracle, the Clippers are in serious trouble.
Latest update on Kawhi Leonard injury
The severity of Leonard’s ACL injury isn’t known, but NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported on ESPN’s Get Up that results could be available within the next 48 hours. At this point, though, the two-time NBA champion and NBA Finals MVP might be fortunate if he only misses the remainder of the playoffs.
“They’re going to know more about the status of that knee, the severity of that knee injury, perhaps in the next 24-48 hours. They are hopeful that this is not a severe injury that not only would impact him for the rest of this season, perhaps next season. But those answers are still coming for the Clippers.”Adrian Wojnarowski on timeline for Kawhi Leonard injury diagnosis
In Leonard’s absence, the Clippers are asking for George to carry the team and secondary contributors to deliver the best performances of the year. George delivered with 37 points in Game 5. Meanwhile, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. combined for 47 points, but it’s hard to count on the sustainability of that production.
Utah will be favored in Game 6, even on the road. If the Jazz are victorious, it works out even better for the Phoenix Suns who want this series to go the distance. If the Clippers are forced to play a Game 7 on Tuesday, there’s a stronger possibility Chris Paul only misses Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.