As his load management continues, Kawhi Leonard will not play tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first of back-to-back games for the Clippers, as they host the Trail Blazers tomorrow.
The NBA is aware of Leonard’s absence, and apparently has no issue with it given the two-time Finals MVP has been managing a knee injury for quite some time.
The NBA’s approval of this current situation comes despite wide-ranging legislative changes in September 2017, which allow Commissioner Adam Silver to fine teams a minimum of $100,000 if they chose to sit healthy players for nationally televised games.
Leonard – currently averaging 29.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game in 30.5 minutes this season – has played in six of the Clippers’ seven games, but this will be his second rest against a team considered one of the biggest threats in the league, after also sitting against the Utah Jazz last week.
His continued reticence towards playing in back-to-backs is causing a significant amongst of controversy, with pundits divided as to the efficacy of the Clippers’ policy.
The Clippers’ next back-to-back begins November 13 in Houston for the Rockets, with a game with the New Orleans Pelicans one night later.
As things currently stand, it appears Leonard is guaranteed to miss one of those games. If a potential Finals push is on the cards, who’s to say it’s a bad decision?