The Western Conference second-round semi-final series was an uphill struggle for the Los Angeles Clippers. They had dropped the starting two games at Salt Lake City to the Utah Jazz. However, they had fought back and won the next two games at home. Then, Kawhi Leonard’s injury happened to throw the Clippers’ title hopes in jeopardy.
Can The Clippers Go On Without Leonard?
The Clippers did get the victory in the fifth game even after losing Kawhi Leonard, but there are serious doubts as to what they can manage. Unfortunately, Leonard is also going to be absent for the sixth game on Friday at home. The game can be the decider for them if they manage to win.
On Thursday, Ty Lue, the coach, confirmed the absence of Leonard from the starting lineup for the sixth game. It had already been announced by the team that the player had sprained his right knee. The period of recovery was indefinite. Moreover, they also suspect that the severity of the injury might be more than what they expect. The worst fear of the Clippers is that Leonard has injured his ACL. If this is confirmed, then the Clippers’ season will be drastically affected.
The injury of Leonard happened after an awkward landing after driving for a basket in the last quarter in the fourth game victory of the Clippers. It had eventually forced him to exit the game even though he tried to play through the pain.
There were only 5 minutes and 25 seconds left to play. Joe Ingles, the guard for Jazz, attempted an intentional foul to end the play. However, the bump made Leonard lose his balance as he was trying to get his foot planted. Later, Jazz’s Bojan Bogdanovic also fouled him. Leonard had claimed that the injury was fine in the post-match interview.