LA Clippers Head Coach Tyronn Lue stated during his pregame interview that Kawhi Leonard is out for Wednesday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns.
This will mark the eighth game Leonard has missed due to an injury the Clippers have deemed as “right foot soreness.” Leonard traveled with the team on their most recent road trip, but was unavailable throughout the trip due to the injury.
With the playoffs just nine games away, it makes sense that the Clippers are taking the cautious approach when dealing with Leonard’s health. He is their most valuable asset, and they cannot hope to win a championship if he is not close to 100%. Still, it is concerning that he is missing as crucial a matchup as Wednesday’s. The no. 2-seeded Suns are currently a game ahead of the Clippers in the standings, so a win tonight could go a long way in giving the Clippers an advantageous position in the Western Conference playoff bracket. If there were any game that the Clippers really needed a Leonard sighting for, it would’ve been this one.
Without Leonard, the scoring burden once again falls on Paul George’s shoulders. George has been excellent against Phoenix this season, averaging 36 points in the Clippers’ first two matchups against their Pacific Division rival.
Lue confirmed the same starting lineup he went with in Monday’s game against New Orleans: Reggie Jackson, Terance Mann, George, Marcus Morris Sr. and Ivica Zubac. He also said that Nicolas Batum and Amir Coffey are good to go, despite being listed as questionable on the Clippers' injury report earlier in the day.
Clippers-Suns will tip off at 7 p.m. PST on ESPN.