Kawhi Leonard missed the first 27 games of the regular season as he was still recovering from the injury that he sustained during last season's playoffs. Then he came back, fortunately. In his 8 games that he played this season, he averaged 15 points and 4 rebounds while showing signs that he is slowly regaining his old dominant self.
Unfortunately, he is about to miss more games this season.
That is according to Coach Gregg Popovich who confirmed that Kawhi Leonard has sustained a partial tear in his left shoulder- an injury Leonard was said to have sustained during the game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns- a game that was won by the Spurs, 103-89.
Despite playing most of the season without one of the best 2-way players in the NBA, not to mention Tony Parker who recently returned from an injury as well, the Spurs now stand at 27-13, the third-best in the Western Conference and 5th best in the NBA. They have won 7 of their last 10 games and will start a road trip which begins with a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
What Leonard's latest injury means for the Spurs?
For starters, Kawhi Leonard missing more games during the regular season means he gets to rest and when the playoffs come along, he'll be in a fresher condition to lead the Spurs anew.
But missing Leonard could also mean that the Spurs can continue playing AND winning even without their superstar thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge who is averaging 22 points, 8 rebound, and a block this season. This will also mean more minutes for emerging young gun, Kyle Anderson who is leading the Spurs in steals, averaging 1.2 steals per game.
There's no denying the fact that Kawhi Leonard has yet to play like the Finals MVP he was once a few years back but people can't count him out just yet. Like Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard can definitely return better whether it's in the latter part of the regular season or during the playoffs.
For now, the Spurs will have to play without #2. After all, they've beaten teams without him, right?