Kawhi Leonard finally returned after a five-game absence, but he seemed to be taking it a little easy. The good news is though, he's feeling good.
"It was better tonight," Leonard said. "Obviously, I got to play in the fourth quarter the other night as a blowout of the lead, but I’m feeling good. We took partner steps to get me right, to make sure nothing is significantly wrong with me. Like I said, I feel good. I’m back playing. So hopefully, I just keep moving up from here."
Leonard looked solid in his return, but he didn't look special at all. It looked like he holding it a step back, putting up: 16 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, on 7/12 FGs. It wasn't a bad game at all, but the team just needed more from him in a pivotal matchup against the Denver Nuggets.
“Yeah, I don’t know if it was fatigue or what," Ty Lue said. "I just thought he really eased into it. He didn’t play at his normal pace of attacking, getting to the basket like he usually does. So, having played in a lot of team games, that’s to be expected. It’s just good having him back on the floor and we just need to build from there.”
Fortunately, the Clippers still have 7 games left in the regular season. Losing against the Denver Nuggets was a pretty significant loss, but it wasn't the end of the world. In these 7 games, the Clippers need to start getting all of their injured back into game shape and learn the proper rotations with them.
If the team is truly championship material, they'll be able to take it up another level in the playoffs.