The Clippers are pretty much locked into the two-seed in the Western Conference, which is why there’s been some skepticism as to exactly how much Kawhi Leonard will play in the season restart games.
But the team’s head coach is doing whatever he can to squash that noise.
It’s fair to point out, though, that Leonard has strict stipulations about minutes, as he was one of the first to really push the “load management” movement. He doesn’t play on back-to-backs, and in other situations where he might have to push his body a bit.
So with the Clippers having little motivation to win in the eight-game season restart, given how much firepower the team has on its roster, it’s fair to wonder how much Leonard will play. If you ask head coach Doc Rivers, though, he’ll have “no limits,” which he told reporters.
He also added this:
“Kawhi is healthy for the most part,” Rivers said. “That still doesn’t mean that we don’t want to maintain him and get him through the first eight games and get ready for the playoffs. We want to be smart about this. Not just for Kawhi, it’s with everybody.”
We still believe he’ll be very limited in those first eight games — resting in at least one or two of the, and also playing an average of 20-ish minutes in the others.