Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers are currently gearing up for their upcoming first round NBA playoff series vs Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, which will begin on Sunday afternoon from the Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles. Despite the unfounded public perception that Doncic “owns” the Clippers, Los Angeles has actually faired quite well in each of the last two playoff matchups vs the Mavericks, winning both series in 2020 and 2021, and the argument could be made that Leonard was actually the best player on the court in each of those two series.

Still, that isn't stopping former NBA player turned sports media talking head Paul Pierce from spewing a puzzling take that will have Clippers fans confused, to say the very least.

“Kawhi is not the offensive player Jayson (Tatum) is,” said Pierce during a recent episode of the KG Certified podcast with former Celtics teammate Kevin Garnett, per All The Smoke Productions (via NBACentral on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter).

It's unclear at this point exactly which element of offense that Pierce is talking about in his assessment.

Statistically speaking, Leonard is a better shooter from the paint, better shooter from the midrange, and better shooter from three than Jayson Tatum, as great as he is. However, facts and statistics aren't always of the utmost importance when it comes to former NBA players spewing narratives, as has been demonstrated time and time again.

How far can the Clippers go?

The main concern right now for the Clippers as they enter their series vs the Mavericks is the health of Leonard himself. The mysterious superstar missed the last several games of the regular season for Los Angeles with a lingering knee injury, and although he is expected to be ready to go on Sunday afternoon, there is cause for concern considering the past issues Leonard has dealt with regarding his knee, most notably a torn ACL that knocked him out of the 2021 NBA postseason and kept him out the entirety of the following campaign.

Of course, the Mavericks also look quite a bit different now than they did the last time the two teams got together in the 2021 playoffs. Back then, Doncic had the services of two All-Star level players in Jalen Brunson and Kristaps Porzingis, while now he only has 32-year-old Kyrie Irivng by his side, but Dallas was red hot to close out the year, winning 16 of their last 19 games (the last of which all of the stars rested) en route to securing the number five seed in the conference.

In any case, the Mavericks vs Clippers series sure figures to be one of the most interesting of the entire first round, in a postseason slate filled with intriguing matchups across both conferences.

Game 1 of the series is slated to take place at 3:30 PM ET from Los Angeles, with ABC carrying the game nationally, before moving onto Game 2 on Tuesday evening, signaling a quick turnaround for a Clippers team that would probably prefer to have more rest at this point in time.