The Los Angles Clippers open up their season Thursday night time vs. their cross-town rivals, the Los Angles Lakers. Even although the battle of LA appears to tackle extra significance than most common season video games, the Clippers have a much bigger objective in thoughts in terms of the 2022-23 season, and that’s to win the primary championship in staff historical past.
That mindset might have one thing to do with the report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that got here out at present about Kawhi Leonard’s standing tonight.
Los Angeles Clippers have been contemplating the potential of bringing Kawhi Leonard off the bench to begin the season in an effort to handle his minutes, league sources inform @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 20, 2022
That additionally aligns with what Coach Ty Lue stated about Kawhi after day 1 of coaching camp.
We have a objective in thoughts of what we would like these guys to play and so I’m not going to allow you to guys know that, however simply ensure that we do the suitable factor, simply being good and trusting the info that we’ve obtained again from these guys and simply ensuring their physique’s feeling properly, how they’re feeling, after which we will proceed to slowly, slowly progress. But we simply received to verify proper now we’re doing proper by these guys and even when they wish to play extra and do extra we will’t permit that to occur.
Leonard missed all final yr as he recovered from a torn ACL and hasn’t performed since June 14th, 2021, which was Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals vs. the Jazz, and will probably be eased again into the lineup. Leonard solely made two appearances within the preseason, taking part in a mean of 16.5 minutes per recreation. However, with the addition of John Wall, the Clippers could also be extra cautious with Leonard than common, because the staff feels it has sufficient depth to sustained shorter minutes from its All-Star Forward.
It can also be not unprecedented to have a famous person come off the bench after a protracted layoff resulting from damage. We noticed it final yr with the Warriors and Steph Curry. Steph got here off the bench vs. the Denver Nuggets within the first spherical of the playoffs after being out the ultimate 12 video games of the common season with a bone bruise and sprained ligament. The philosophy was the identical as it will likely be with Leonard: to ease your famous person into their common workload.
The Clippers are taking part in the lengthy recreation in terms of Leonard, who has performed a bit of over 100 video games within the final three seasons, even when meaning not having their greatest participant on the courtroom full-time vs. their cross-town rival.
This looks as if a wise transfer by the Clips and hopefully Kawhi will keep away from any hamstring soreness like his Lakers’s rival Russell Westbrook who didn’t take properly to the change in circumstances.