On a recent NBA Today episode on ESPN, Windhorst stated, “I don’t think Kawhi [Leonard] looks very good.”
The ESPN employee went on to state “He is not moving well in my opinion…When he’s taking these games off and resting, I kind of get it because he doesn’t look good.”
"I don't think Kawhi [Leonard] looks very good… He is not moving well in my opinion… When he's taking these games off and resting, I kind of get it because he doesn't look good."
— 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣’ 𝙉𝘽𝘼 (@_Talkin_NBA) December 16, 2022
For Clippers fans, that is disappointing to hear.
A healthy Kawhi Leonard is vital if LA wants to have any chance at competing for a title this season.
If Leonard is not the devastating two-way force he has been for his career, the Clippers face a tall task to win it all.
Kawhi’s Clippers’ Stint Marred by Injuries
Injuries have been the sad reality for most of Leonard’s career but especially so with the Clippers.
Since signing with the team in the 2019 offseason, Kawhi has appeared in 120 of a possible 258 games.
82 of those missed games were due to Leonard missing the entirety of the 2021-22 season after partially tearing his ACL in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Even after a full season of recovery, Kawhi is still ramping himself up.
Leonard has appeared in only 11 of the 32 games the Clippers have played this season.
Across those 11 contests, he is averaging 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 26.5 minutes per game.
His .444/.233/.732 shooting splits are all career-worst marks.
Leonard is now 31 years old, and it seems injuries could be catching up to him.
While the season stats don’t jump off the page, Leonard has seemingly turned a page in December.
During the calendar month, Leonard has started in six of a possible nine contests.
In those six games, Leonard has averaged 19.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists across 30 minutes per game.
The shooting splits were better than his first five games (.455/.286/.714 vs. .422/.133/.769) and he got to the line with more regularity.
Kawhi Leonard yesterday:
— Jamal Cristopher (@JamCristopher) December 18, 2022
The recent stretch was punctuated with a 31-point, 9-rebound, 3-steal effort across 32 minutes in a win against the Washington Wizards.
Just one day after Windhorst’s comments on NBA Today.
Maybe the concern about Leonard was a bit premature.