While it seems Kawhi Leonard may have partially torn his shoulder, the Spurs don’t seem particularly concerned about the injury. Immediately after mentioning the tear to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, head coach Gregg Popovich said that the forward could potentially return before the end of the team’s three-game road trip.
According to ESPN’s Michael Wright, Leonard has not even been formally ruled out for Thursday’s game.
Sidelined until mid-December with a quad injury, Leonard will now miss time just as he began to see an increased work load. Since the Spurs’ Boxing Day contest, Leonard had played four of five games, averaging 28.2 minutes and 21.3 points per game.
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- The Mavs are one team that could potentially benefit from “competitively tanking” but doing so may be easier said than done, Matt Mosley of the Dallas Morning News implies. The scribe says that Rick Carlisle isn’t a great coach for tanking and adds that Dennis Smith Jr. may have other plans following a losing year at N.C. State.
- The Rockets may have a looming decision to make with regard to Briante Weber, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. Because of the 45-day limit on his two-way contract Houston may need to convert his deal into a standard one if they plan to keep featuring him while James Harden recovers from an injury.
- Houston native and recent Rockets addition Gerald Green has made an impact in his brief time with the franchise, averaging 19.8 points per game off the bench in his last five games. As Tim MacMahon of ESPN writes there wasn’t much of a market for his services prior to his signing. “No team wanted me, man. No team wanted me. No team wanted me,” Green said. “No overseas team. Not even a D-League team. So this is the only team that took a chance on me. For me, I’m just so overwhelmed and excited about the opportunity.“