After sitting out during a 114-75 Game 6 blowout of the Houston Rockets, Kawhi Leonard will be back in action Sunday night for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, as reported by ESPN’s Michael C. Wright.
Pop on Kawhi Leonard: “He’s going to play.”
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) May 13, 2017
Leonard had injured his ankle in the middle of the third quarter of a pivotal 110-107 win on Tuesday. He was cleared to play in Thursday’s Game 6, however he instead sat out. Leonard had originally said he planned to play in Thursday’s game, but at some point someone higher up in the San Antonio Spurs organization decided against it.
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich made it clear that sitting out was not Kawhi’s decision, and instead was a coaching choice. With more time to heal, Leonard should be ready for the daunting task facing him and his team as they look to upset the Golden State Warriors. Leonard seems to be ready to go, with him fully participating during Saturday’s practice.
Gregg Popovich said Kawhi Leonard was “absolutely” a full participant in practice Saturday. https://t.co/yPuVcwt5ik
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 13, 2017
Leonard has played at an MVP-caliber level this season, putting up 25.5 points to go with 1.8 steals. He will be needed at 100-percent health if San Antonio want any chance at winning this series. The Spurs also recently lost starting point guard Tony Parker, who suffered a season ending quad injury.
San Antonio is looking to defeat the Warriors, led by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, who have won eight straight playoff games going in to Sunday. It will be interesting to follow this series as it is the first time in four years that these two teams are facing each other in the playoffs.