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Kawhi Leonard OUT of Clippers-Warriors Western Conference contender clash

Kawhi Leonard will not play against the Warriors, so the Clippers ‘next man up’ mentality will be tested once again.

NBA: NOV 21 Jazz at Clippers
Kawhi Leonard before spraining his right ankle in the Clippers win over the Jazz.
Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers have downgraded Kawhi Leonard to OUT with a right ankle sprain, as they prepare to face the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco on Wednesday night.

Leonard landed on teammate Amir Coffey’s foot while trying to make a defensive play late in the game against the Utah Jazz on Monday night, and was seen gingerly flexing his foot as he walked away.

After seeing out the final 55 seconds of the matchup, coach Tyronn Lue was asked by Law Murray of The Athletic about Kawhi’s condition and he seemed completely relaxed about the situation – but did throw shade at Law and the rest of the press pack for “watching everything”.

It now seems the media members were right to have questions, as most fans would have expected Leonard to miss no time at all if he was truly “good”. However, it could just be the latest sign of the franchise being careful around their star player. After all, he had to carry a heavier burden on the court with his running mate Paul George out of the game.

This time around, it will be the rest of the Clippers roster carrying an even bigger burden, though there’s nothing like two games against fellow Western Conference contenders to bring out the best in this supporting cast.

Their ‘next man up’ mentality will need to be on full display once again, while everybody associated with the organization will eagerly await further updates about the health of Leonard, George and even Luke Kennard.

The latter of the three will be a big miss for the ‘Canoes’ – to coin a nickname for the Clippers’ role players, started by Joseph Raya-Ward and Brian Cullen of the Clipset Podcast – against the Warriors. The other two, though, can’t afford to keep missing all this time if they want to keep this ship on course.