Breaking: Kawhi Leonard is back tonight, on minutes restriction
At long last, San Antonio Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard is set to make his much-awaited season debut tonight against the Dallas Mavericks. However, he will be kept on a minutes restriction, according to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright.
Leonard has not featured for the Spurs since Game 1 of last year’s Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors due to right quadriceps tendinopathy, an injury which he had dealt with in the past.
The Spurs have managed to remain one of the best teams in the league even without their star player, though. They are currently 19-8, third in the West behind the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors.
LaMarcus Aldridge has returned to All-Star form in Leonard’s absence. Aldridge leads the team with 22.7 points on 50 percent shooting with 8.1 rebounds per game.
With Leonard likely to reclaim his small forward spot in the starting lineup, Rudy Gay should return to the bench after starting the last four games due to Kyle Anderson’s injury.
But with Leonard set to play limited minutes, Gay should continue to play a prominent role for the Spurs against the Mavs. Gay performed well as a starter, averaging 14.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in 31 minutes during his four starts.