With the Spurs struggling to head into the final stretch of the season, it's indeed a good news
The San Antonio Spurs have dropped to 5th place in the Western Conference with a 37-27 record. They have dropped 7 of their last 10 games including games against the 4th placed, New Orleans Pelicans and, the Los Angeles Lakers on Lonzo Ball's clutch threes. With another game against the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors coming right up, it seems that the Spurs' struggles will continue with barely a month left in the regular season.
The good news for San Antonio though: Kawhi Leonard, who has only played 9 games this season and has ruled himself out indefinitely to continue treating his quadriceps, is returning soon. That is according to the former Finals MVP himself who has said that the pain that he is feeling is slowing fading away.
Although there's no date that has been set for Leonard's return, Leonard himself added that he's making significant progress and that the treatment program has taken the right steps. Unfortunately, he won't be joining the Spurs just yet when the team goes on a road trip that will start against the Warriors and will include games against the heavyweights Oklahoma City Thunder and the league-leading Houston Rockets who just won their 17th consecutive game.
Will Leonard's return benefit the Spurs?
It depends. Given the fact that he only played 9 games where he only averaged 16 points per game, that's only a fraction of what he has been doing for the Spurs during his pre-injury years. It's only the question of whether or not he can unleash his old dominant self- as the best two-way player who, for most people, is the only one who can challenge LeBron James in a one-on-one situation.
Another issue that has to be solved before Kawhi makes his return to action is whose minutes will be sacrificed to accommodate Leonard. Like it or not, the Spurs have become accustomed playing without Leonard this season so it's a challenge for Gregg Popovich to re-shuffle his roster once the Klaw is ready to play ball, again. Fortunately, he is Gregg Popovich after all.
With barely a month left in the regular season and the teams above them are winning, this is the time for the Spurs to figure things out and hope that the Kawhi Leonard who will be returning "soon" will somehow be the same Kawhi Leonard who led them to a championship in 2014. Otherwise, if they continue falling behind in the standings, they won't last in the playoffs.