On Wednesday, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he'd be "surprised" if Leonard plays again this season, virtually eliminating any hope that San Antonio had of adding to their collection of National Basketball Association championship trophies this season.
Leonard has dealt with a quad injury that has kept him out for all but nine games this season.
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Leonard missed the first 27 games of the campaign before returning to action December 12. So that's why I'm just trying to be honest and logical. The Spurs have the 3rd best record in the Western Conference but without Kawhi Leonard to aid LaMarcus Aldridge, it will be tough to even make it out of the first round if they get the wrong matchup. "I'll be surprised if he gets back this year".
Asked to clarify why he feels that way, Popovich said, "Well, we only have X number of games left in the season and he's still not ready to go". He did not make his season debut until December 12 and he did not play in more than two consecutive games. He didn't rule out Leonard for the rest of the campaign entirely, but indicated he's not optimistic about getting his MVP candidate back for the stretch run.
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The Spurs after losing five of six are just three games up in the loss column on No. 8 seed New Orleans.
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Some big news dropped late on Wednesday as National Basketball Association teams prepare to return to the floor for games once again on Thursday. But if Leonard is indeed out for the season, it's hard to imagine San Antonio reaching the NBA Finals, especially with the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets firing on all cylinders.