Forward Kawhi Leonard had to leave the game in the second quarter due to an injury after clashing with Steven Adams, and it was later reported that the third-year player will be out indefinitely after suffering a broken finger in his shooting hand.
Kawhi’s injury is a huge loss for the Spurs as the former first-round pick was evolving into a legit force at both ends of the court this season, averaging 14.7 points with 7.7 rebounds in 41 games but also giving the team solid perimeter defense; in fact, Spurs might have been able to win last night had Leonard been on the floor down the stretch to guard Kevin Durant.
The Spurs are already shorthanded due to injuries as both Danny Green and Tiago Splitter are also recovering, and that might be a reason why the team has struggled so much against the top teams in the NBA this season. Green, Splitter and Leonard are all very good defensive players, and their absence is really hurting the Spurs.
Among the three, however, Leonard is the one the Spurs will miss the most. His versatility on both ends of the floor, his improving scoring ability and his tenacious defense were all traits that anchored the starting lineup, and now San Antonio will have to find a way to replace him until he is healthy to enough to return to the court.