Coming into the season, Clippers fans and NBA fans were all under the impression there would be no Kawhi Leonard load management.
Those reports were apparently false, seeing Kawhi will be resting tonight vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Kawhi also missed last week’s game against the Utah Jazz due to load management, making this his second in an 8-game span.
Not only was the Jazz game nationally televised, but tonight’s game is too. Unfortunately, we will not be able to see a Giannis vs. Kawhi matchup this time. The first of only 2 matchups between the two superstars this season.
Resting Kawhi seemed to have worked with the Raptors last season, but with Paul George still out, it would be nice to gain some ground in the West without him. We will never know if the Kawhi load management had a correlation with winning the title. The Raptors were 17-5 last year without him, meaning they were obviously a legit team on top of having the Finals MVP. The Clippers appear to have the same plan with basically the same 48-win roster as last year, comprising of arguably the best bench in the NBA and Hall of Fame head coach Doc Rivers. Not to mention, George’s return is looming. There have been no reported setbacks for George as he is supposedly set to return within the next 10-15 days.
Kawhi is reportedly 100% healthy, as he is averaging a career-high in points (29.3) and assists (5.7). It will be interesting to see how this narrative goes throughout the rest of the season.
This is becoming a growing concern for the NBA, as resting players has become normality as opposed to a trend.