Big off-season signing Kawhi Leonard has angered National Basketball Association fans and pundits for opting to sit out Thursday's Clippers' clash against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks due to load management related to a chronic knee injury. The Clippers also play Thursday against the Portland Trial Blazers.
Leonard missed most of the 2017-18 season with a quad injury and sat out 22 games with the Raptors past year in order to rest himself for the postseason.
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at three things to watch out for against the Clippers. Kawhi not playing is ridiculous at this point.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the league has confirmed with the Clippers that Leonard has an injury and that the health files would indicate as such. "The league office, in consultation with the NBA's director of sports medicine is comfortable with the team medical staff's determination that Leonard is not sufficiently healthy to play in back-to-back games at this time".
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Leonard said in September that Toronto's "load management" plan was created because "I was going in with an injury that I was dealing with the year before".
During his final season in San Antonio, Leonard played only nine games.
Wednesday's game is the first of a back-to-back set for the Clippers at Staples Center. The Clippers have already rested Leonard once this season, on October 30th against the Jazz, which was also the first game of a back-to-back, and also happened to be a nationally televised game on ESPN. Heading into the showdown with the Clippers, the reigning NBA MVP is averaging 27.7 points, 14.0 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.1 steal and 1.6 block per game.