Kawhi Leonard Is Out For Game 4 With Knee Inflammation And No Timetable For A Return

The Los Angeles Clippers have only won one game in their first round series with the Dallas Mavericks, and it was the opener when they still didn’t have Kawhi Leonard in the lineup. Leonard returned in Game 2, but his knee didn’t respond as hoped from playing in that game. He struggled mightily in Game 3, scoring nine points in 25 minutes, and he simply has not looked like the dominant player he’s capable of when healthy since returning to the Clippers lineup.

With a critical Game 4 in Dallas on Sunday afternoon, the Mavs announced Leonard would be out due to inflammation in his surgically repaired knee, and that there was no timetable for his return. Clippers president Lawrence Frank addressed the media and said it was a “tricky” situation, but that it was clear Leonard just wasn’t himself.

While there is no doubt the Clippers are a better team with Leonard at full strength, you could make the argument that they are better without Kawhi playing than the 60-percent version being out there struggling. For that to be the case, James Harden and Paul George will have to pick up the slack in the starting five from a shot creation standpoint. Harden has been up to the task in the series, but George has been oddly passive. If L.A. is going to even things up on Sunday, that will have to change.