The Los Angeles Clippers are currently in the process of gearing up for their Game 2 matchup vs the Dallas Mavericks, and will be hoping to have Kawhi Leonard back in the lineup when they hit the hardwood on Tuesday evening at the Arena in Los Angeles. Oddly enough, the Clippers had no issues disposing of the Mavericks in Game 1 of their series on Sunday afternoon despite Leonard being out of the lineup with a knee injury that has bothered him in recent weeks, as the Clippers shot out to a 26-point halftime advantage and never let the lead get below ten at any point in the second half en route to the victory.

Although the injury to Leonard has been shrouded in mystery (as many a Leonard injury has over the years), it appears that there is some increased optimism that the mysterious star could be returning to the lineup as soon as Tuesday night for Game 2. Recently, Leonard was spotted at the Clippers' practice working out with his teammates, and an interesting change in the betting line had some speculating that a return is imminent.

“Kawhi at shootaround.  @LAClippers move from +2.5 to -1.5 vs. Mavs at #BetMGM,” reported John Ewing of BetMGM on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter, using a video courtesy of Law Murray of The Athletic.

An impressive performance for the Clippers

As previously mentioned, you would never know that the Clippers were a team operating without the services of their best player based on the way they performed on Sunday afternoon to open up the series. Los Angeles used a vintage James Harden game, combined with some outstanding production from several of their role players, to dominate a Mavericks team that looked completely unprepared for the playoff stage throughout the majority of the afternoon.

It should be noted that the Mavericks did suffer from some truly horrendous shooting, particularly during the second quarter, when they registered a grand total of just eight points. It's unlikely that a team featuring both Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic will suffer through a stretch that poor again this series.

However, it should also be noted that the Clippers' ceiling raises tenfold when their best player in Leonard, one of the greatest playoff performers of his generation, is in the lineup, and there is not a player on the Mavericks' roster who has a prayer of containing Leonard when he's at his best.

On Tuesday evening, the Clippers should expect to get the Mavericks' best punch as they look to even up the series, with both Doncic and Irving–who scored 20 points in the third quarter alone on Sunday–likely to come out ultra aggressive and looking for their shot.

It will be up to the Clippers to use that aggression against the Mavericks' All-Stars and try to go up 2-0 as the series shifts to Dallas on Friday evening..

Tuesday's game is slated to tip off at 10:00 PM ET from the Crypto.Com arena in downtown Los Angeles.