At the last minute before tipoff, Clippers All-Star Kawhi Leonard was pulled from the starting lineup of Tuesday night’s matchup with the Boston Celtics. He has been ruled out with back spasms, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Leonard was warming up with the team prior to the game, looking healthy. The substitution came with no warning from the Clippers coaching and medical staff prior to the game.
Reserve Guard Reggie Jackson started in place of Leonard. Leonard has not been on the bench with his team so far during the game.
Leonard missed time earlier this season due to a lower left leg contusion. Leonard has an extensive injury history, and sat in back-to-back scenarios last season as a precaution. The Clippers are going to err on the side of caution in these situations, as they understand that Leonard’s value is most needed in the postseason.
With Leonard out, the Clippers will be forced to lean on their other All-Star, Paul George, to create offense and guard the Celtics’ best wing players. They will also look to their depth to make up the offense that they’re losing,
Leonard has been having an MVP-caliber season thus far for the LA Clippers, averaging 26.8 points, 4.9 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game thus far. Here’s hoping Leonard is healthy and his return is swift.