Despite the San Antonio Spurs officially listing him as questionable in their pre-game report, the 2014 MVP is not buying it, adding that he is “100 percent sure” that Leonard will lace them up come Saturday, per Connor LeTourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“No doubt in my mind that he’ll play,” his teammate Draymond Green told reporters Friday. “(We’re) definitely going in with the mindset that he’s playing.”
The Warriors are not taking any chances, as a surprise appearance could change the scope of this entire series if Golden State is to lose a couple of away games, resetting the series to a best-of-three scenario.
Steve Kerr, who is back with the team in a limited role, is clearly taking the careful approach and preparing his team for any potential unexpected news, readying them to go into a heated battle not only against the five Spurs on the floor, but a potentially angry home crowd that will be at its loudest.
Leonard put up 26 points before his exit at the 7:52 mark of the third quarter of Game 1 before submitting to his left ankle injury. He injured it twice in the period by backing into his bench after a corner three-point make and then again in a reckless closeout by Zaza Pachulia that undercut him, landing gingerly as he rolled his left ankle yet again.