The Los Angeles Clippers are in some trouble in their first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns.
They dropped Game 3, 129-124, on Thursday to fall behind 2-1 in the series, and they were without star forward Kawhi Leonard, who has a sprained knee.
The big question is when he will be well enough to return to game action, and Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue doesn’t seem to know the answer.
No update on Kawhi Leonard, says Clippers Tyronn Lue.
Lue adds that he's preparing for both a scenario where he does and does not play in Game 4.
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 21, 2023
After missing all of last season with an ACL injury he suffered in the 2021 playoffs, Leonard played extremely well after the calendar turned over to 2023, and he was outstanding in the first two games of this series.
He scored 38 points in L.A.’s Game 1 win and followed that performance up with 31 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in Game 2.
But unless Leonard gets fully healthy soon, the team could be on their way to their usual early playoff exit.
They’re already without fellow star forward Paul George, who is out for the series with a leg injury he suffered in March.
Injuries have been a big concern with Leonard over the last several years, dating back to the 2017 playoffs when he suffered an ankle injury and missed almost the entire Western Conference Finals as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.
Since then, he has failed to appear in more than 60 games in a single season due to injuries and load management.
Some feel the Clippers should blow it up if they lose early in this year’s playoffs, as Leonard cannot stay healthy, while George has also become injury-prone himself and is wildly inconsistent in the postseason.
Editor’s Note: Soon after this article was written, an update was provided.
Kawhi Leonard remains out for Game 4 with a sprained right knee.
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) April 22, 2023
The Clippers will now look to compete without Leonard once again against a championship-level Suns team.NEXT: Fans React To What Colin Cowherd Said About Kawhi Leonard