The LA Clippers’ two-time NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, will be back in street clothes tonight against the Golden State Warriors. Leonard rolled his right ankle against the Utah Jazz last Monday and will sit out the Clippers’ next game.
Including tonight’s encounter, Leonard has now missed 14 of the Clippers’ 18 games this season. “The Claw” played only 23 minutes versus the Jazz, but still somehow injured himself. He finished with eight points, one rebound and five assists in the Clippers’ third straight win.
Before playing in the last three games, Kawhi Leonard missed the previous 12 due to lingering knee pain. The team didn’t want to put more stress on that problematic knee by allowing Leonard to play with a right sprained ankle. They have been extremely cautious with the two-time NBA champ and will continue to do so despite Leonard telling the media he was fine.
Kawhi Leonard is averaging 10.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in limited minutes. Norman Powell, Nic Batum and Robert Covington are expected to see more minutes as both Leonard and Paul George will be out.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics’ All-NBA forward, Jayson Tatum could miss his first game of the season. He is officially listed as questionable due to a left ankle sprain against the Dallas Mavericks. JT suffered the injury in the Celtics’ loss to the Chicago Bulls that snapped their nine-game winning run.
Tatum played 36 minutes in that game and finished with a team-high 28 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Boston, even without Robert Williams, has been playing great basketball because of Tatum’s play on both ends of the floor.
He leads the Celtics in scoring with 30.2 points to go with 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists. If the three-time NBA All-Star sits tonight, Malcolm Brogdon or Derrick White could take Tatum’s spot in the starting lineup.
Bam Adebayo: Left knee contusion; Injured since November 15, 2022
The injury-riddled Miami Heat are looking to end a four-game slump against the Washington Wizards tonight. Miami’s task could prove to be even more difficult as Bam Adebayo has been listed as probable. Adebayo has been dealing with a left knee contusion for over a week. He previously missed two games for the same reason.
Although he’s expected to play, the Heat training staff will carefully check Adebayo during the morning shootaround and practice before he’s officially available. Backup big man Omer Yurtseven has been ruled out while Dewayne Dedmon is questionable.
The Heat’s decimated frontline may push them to let Adebayo play as they are also without several key players. Miami will already be without Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo, Duncan Robinson and Omer Yurtseven.
Scottie Barnes: Right knee sprain; Injured since November 19, 2022
The Toronto Raptors had three days off before tonight’s matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. Despite the long break, they still have Scottie Barnes listed as questionable. The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year played 46 minutes in the Raptors’ loss in overtime to the Atlanta Hawks.
Barnes limped in the fourth quarter but eventually finished the game. He scored a season-high 28 points to go with 11 rebounds and nine assists. Toronto’s medical staff didn’t allow him to practice on Tuesday, which will make his availability tonight uncertain.
The Raptors will also be without Pascal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa and Otto Porter Jr., which will leave their frontline thin. Juancho Hernangomez, Thaddeus Young and Christian Koloko are expected to play more minutes.
Barnes doesn’t have a definite timetable for his return to NBA action.