Last year’s MVP candidate, Kawhi Leonard, is being shut down by the San Antonio Spurs indefinitely after re-injuring his quad. Leonard, who missed the teams first 27 games of the season, never seemed to return to form in the 10 games he played.
Kawhi Leonard Update: pic.twitter.com/2jb5svTAR2
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 17, 2018
San Antonio Spurs Shut Down Kawhi Leonard Indefinitely
The two time NBA all star had an MVP type season last year, averaging 26 points on 49 percent shooting. His defensive importance cannot be ignored either, winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016. This year, Leonard has not been able to stay healthy and that has effected his production. However his accuracy from the field has not swayed, shooting 47 percent. That is impressive for a player who has been unable to consistently stay on the court this season.
Despite missing one of their most important players, the Spurs have the third seed in the conference, staying within striking distance of the Houston Rockets. They are also tied for first in defense, holding opposing teams to 98 points a game. With Rudy Gay sidelined with a heel injury, the Spurs will be leaning heavily on LaMarcus Aldridge to be their primary scorer. Aldridge has been the MVP of the Spurs so far, averaging a team high 34 minutes a game. Expect players such as Kyle Anderson and Davis Bertans to receive extended minutes in Leonard’s absence.
The Spurs had been extremely conservative sidelining Leonard for the first couple months of the season. It is unclear what type of protocol they will follow now that the same injury has returned. Leonard is questionable to return this season. If they are able to stay relevant in the west, which all signs point to, a late season return could be possible.Whatever it is, the team will follow what is best to protect the future interest of their star player.