Kawhi Leonard’s secret involvement in Clippers’ Game 6 win vs Jazz
The Los Angeles Clippers endured an improbable comeback in Game 6 to defeat the Utah Jazz and head to the Western Conference Finals. Even more amazing is the fact they won the final two games without Kawhi Leonard, who is rehabbing what is feared to be an ACL injury.
The Clippers are now gearing up for a WCF against the Phoenix Suns, and Clippers head coach Ty Lue said that Leonard isn’t just sitting around, but he is making a difference in a rather surprising way.
Kawhi has been "very involved" despite his absence, Ty Lue said. He said Kawhi even entered the coaches' locker room in Game 6 vs. Utah to discuss adjustments.
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) June 20, 2021
Leonard appears to be putting his high basketball IQ to good use and bugging the coaches in the process. In Game 6, the Clippers were down by 22 at the half and things started to look bleak for Los Angeles. However, Leonard came in at the half and met with the coaches, according to Justin Russo.
“Lue said that Kawhi came into the coach’s locker room during halftime of Game 6 and was asking questions about the adjustments that were being made and stuff like that. Lue called Leonard, ‘very engaged.”‘
That is good news for the Clippers, who are still unsure on when Leonard will be able to return– if at all. He did not make the trip for Game 1, but rest assured Leonard will be pondering and could be in contact with the team after the game to offer some feedback.
The Suns are also without Chris Paul, who remains in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and are waiting to see when he will return.
So, even despite Leonard not being in uniform, he is offering up some advice for the coaching staff, and who can blame him? He has been in deep playoff runs before, and the hope is that he can return to the court in the WCF.