After a long absence, Kawhi Leonard has finally returned to the LA Clippers. He didn't look exactly like himself, but Kawhi was still a +26 in 24 minutes of basketball. Kawhi would be the first to tell you himself that it's going to be a long time before he returns to form.
“It was a group effort," Leonard said. "Like I said before at the start of the season: it’s gonna be a long journey. ACL recovery isn’t just one year. Everybody thinks that, but it’s a two-year process, so, I know that and I’m gonna keep going and going through the process.”
For the Clippers' sake, they need Kawhi Leonard to be 100% before a two-year timeline. Their team isn't getting any younger and neither is Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. The Clippers are expected to be a championship favorite this season, and many feel like this is their best opportunity at an NBA championship - that's why they need Leonard to return to form this year.
Now that Kawhi Leonard has returned to the starting lineup for the Clippers, the team can finally start their acclimation period with him. The Clippers haven't played with Kawhi Leonard in a starting lineup since June of 2021 and they'll definitely need that time to start their championship routine. Next for LA is the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.