As the San Antonio Spurs attempt to stave off a four-game sweep in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, it appears Kawhi Leonard will be unavailable to help them avoid that fate.
— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) May 21, 2017
Leonard was injured on what some have said was a dirty play by Zaza Pachulia in Game 1 of this series. Gregg Popovich himself went off on Pachulia for putting his foot under Leonard on the play, and legendary dirty defender Bruce Bowen called Pachulia out for intentionally trying to hurt the Spurs star.
Ironically, the next game LaMarcus Aldridge did the exact same thing to Kevin Durant, only his second step on that play looked quite a bit more intentional than the one Pachulia made. Additionally, it sure looked like Dewayne Dedmon attempted to injure Stephen Curry in Game 3 with a dirty shot at the star’s left knee.
Despite all the chippy dialogue and play in this series, it’s been a one-sided affair ever since Leonard went down for good in Game 1. The Warriors overcame a huge deficit to win that game by two points and have since been on a tear, winning the next two games by a combined 48 points.
Without Leonard in Game 4, it seems unlikely the Spurs will be able to avoid a sweep, setting up what appears will be a third straight Warriors versus Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals.