The Big Picture
The Clippers are still in it. Somehow. Losses against the Blazers (twice), the Pacers (twice), and the Timberwolves all felt like killers, but they’re still in it. It’s just getting harder by the day. Doc Rivers’ team sits two games out — doesn’t it feel like they’ve been two games out for two months? — but they have just five games remaining and they still have to leapfrog the Nuggets. So it’s a must-win all over again.
How often does the story in San Antonio revolve around a player who’s NOT there? The Spurs have long been the team about the guys on the floor, no matter their names or relative lack of pedigree. Next man up. But questions about Kawhi Leonard’s absence have lingered all season, with the drama flaring up again yesterday. Need a primer? Check out The Jump. Or Bill Simmons’ podcast. Or just Google Kawhi’s name and read any of the bajillion — estimated — pieces about a quiet man’s unstated intentions.
Kawhi will not be playing tonight. The Spurs will. LaMarcus Aldridge too. And they find themselves in a familiar position: underrated and overprepared. Gregg Popovich has his team on an 8-2 tear that’s propelled their return the top-half of the Western bracket. They just toasted the Rockets! They don’t care if people find them boring. When mid-April comes, they’re always there.
- The Schedule: Jazz. Nuggets. Pelicans. There’s your season. Then the Lakers.
- Injury Update: Jawun Evans has been ruled out for the season as he’ll undergo surgery for his sports hernia. Super sad face for a guy who’s been a solid rookie.
- Clippings: Here’s Robert Flom on the Ballmers’ and the Clippers’ big donation... Here’s Sports Illustrated on DeAndre Jordan outlasting Lob City... And I got tired of sifting through Spurs news for non-Kawhi articles.
- For more on the Spurs, head over to Pounding The Rock.