Kawhi Leonard missed nine games with a sore right foot injury this season, but according to him, he's been playing through the injury before those games.
From an injury standpoint, it's been an incredibly tough season for all teams. Nearly every team in the top four seeds have missed an All-Star player for an extended period of time. The only exception in the Western Conference is the Phoenix Suns - Chris Paul has missed one game and Devin Booker hasn't missed any. That type of health, combined with good play, is exactly why they're fighting for the first seed.
If the Clippers want to have any chance of succeeding in the playoffs, they're going to need a healthy Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Regardless of whatever matchups the Clippers end up with in the playoffs, this team will only go as far as their All-Stars take them. These next final seven games will be pivotal in getting Kawhi Leonard back up to speed.
The Clippers may not hold their own destiny with the third seed anymore, but the battle isn't over. The chance for redemption begins on Tuesday against the Toronto Raptors at 7:00pm PT.