The Los Angeles Clippers need one player to stay healthy to have playoff success this year.
That is former NBA champion, Kawhi Leonard.
He has struggled with injuries for a large part of his career.
But, they have been especially bad during his time with the Clippers.
Leonard has been the king of “load management” and it seems like the Clippers have been extra careful with him this year.
But, on Friday night he set a career-high in minutes played, and showed off why he is considered one of the best in the NBA.
Kawhi Leonard played the most minutes in a regular-season game in his career Friday night. pic.twitter.com/9VVhSpROFQ
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 25, 2023
His 46 minutes played were a career-high, in the double overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings.
Leonard was great for all 46 of those minutes.
He scored 44 points, along with four rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Also, he shot 16-22 from the field and 6-9 from three.
This was elite Kawhi, and even in a loss, it was great to see.
The Clippers will only go as far as Leonard can take them this season.
He is their best player and will need to be elite on both ends of the floor.
In the playoffs, there will be no “load management” for Leonard.
He needs to be on the floor for every game for the Clippers to have a chance to win.
The addition of Russell Westbrook gives LA another impact player.
But make no mistake, Leonard will be the one that leads this team to its maximum potential.NEXT: Fans React To Russell Westbrook's Debut With Clippers