Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue has confirmed that All-Star wing Kawhi Leonard will remain sidelined for Game 2 of L.A.’s Western Conference Finals series against the Suns, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today. Leonard has been unavailable since the closeout Game 6 of the Clippers’ second-round series against the Jazz with a right knee sprain.
While Leonard is unable to contribute on the court, he continues to stay engaged with the Clippers from afar, Medina writes for USA Today. Lue said that Leonard helped the club make some key halftime adjustments to beat the Jazz in Game 6.
“He came into the coaches’ office, just talking about different strategies,” Lue said. “He just wanted to know our game plan, how we are going to start, what’s our coverages and things like that. So he’s very engaged.”
Clippers center Ivica Zubac also said that Leonard remains involved with the club, and continues to text the team in a group chat thread while they’re on the road in Phoenix and in-person in Los Angeles, tweets Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times.
Lue has stated previously that he hopes Leonard can rejoin the Clippers on the court at some point during the series, but is game-planning as if the All-NBA forward will be unavailable.
The team is also missing nominal starting center Serge Ibaka, done for the postseason after undergoing back surgery earlier this month. The status of big man Marcus Morris ahead of tomorrow’s Game 2 remains up in the air, Medina also noted. Lue said that Morris is “getting treatment around the clock,” but “is still experiencing soreness.” Morris suffered a knee injury in the first of Game 1, a 120-114 Suns victory.