Kawhi Leonard stated there may be “nothing vital” along with his foot damage and that he has been enjoying with it for a while.
In his first sport again after lacking the earlier 5 video games on account of proper foot soreness, Leonard had 16 factors, six assists and 5 rebounds in half-hour within the LA Clippers‘ 110-104 loss to the Denver Nuggets at Staples Middle.
“I am feeling good,” Leonard stated in his first feedback since April 9. “We took the correct steps to get me proper, to verify nothing vital is fallacious with me … so hopefully we will simply preserve shifting up from right here.”
When requested if he should play by means of this foot damage for the rest of the season, Leonard stated the difficulty is just not one thing that simply developed after the final time he performed towards Minnesota on April 18.
“Yeah, I imply, I have been doing it,” Leonard stated. “It isn’t one thing that simply occurred after the final sport. However I will be all proper. I have been by means of conditions like this earlier than.”
The Denver Nuggets spoiled the All-Star’s return by overtaking the Clippers for third within the Western Convention. The Nuggets beat the Clippers for a second time this season and took the season sequence and tiebreaker between the 2 groups.
For the Clippers, although, Leonard’s return was extra vital. Leonard had missed 9 of the Clippers’ earlier 10 video games.
“It was nice to share the ground once more with him,” Clippers All-Star guard Paul George stated. “He is gonna discover his rhythm. You realize, I believed he appeared good tonight.”
George added: “Hopefully we will proceed to maintain him wholesome. However he will be higher and higher. That is simply who Kawhi is.”
With seven video games remaining within the season, the Clippers need to develop as a lot chemistry as they will with their starters on the ground collectively. Serge Ibaka, who was the beginning heart when wholesome, missed his twenty fifth consecutive sport due to a again damage.
Start line guard Patrick Beverley missed his twelfth straight sport Saturday due to a fractured hand. Beverley has performed in solely two of the previous 26 video games on account of accidents, however Clippers coach Ty Lue stated Beverly may return within the subsequent few video games if he continues to progress.
Leonard stated he traveled with the workforce on its latest street journey to assist develop chemistry, one thing LA was lacking when it blew a 3-1 sequence lead and misplaced within the second spherical to Denver final postseason.
“Simply ensuring the workforce sees my face,” Leonard stated of staying with the workforce on the street whereas he was out. “Simply needed to nonetheless be in that movement, be in that rhythm and most significantly letting guys know I am right here and, you realize, simply allow them to hear my voice and see my face.”
Requested if the workforce has sufficient time to gel earlier than the postseason, Leonard stated, “You realize, I am again, [we’re] simply going to should do it with what we now have. We gained video games earlier than, so we simply obtained to maintain this rolling and see the changes and the gamers [who] are going to play in sure conditions to assist us win video games.”