The San Antonio Spurs are not expected to have Kawhi Leonard back in their lineup for the rest of the season, even if they go on a deep playoff run. The team's head coach in Gregg Popovich wants to make sure that the team isn't holding out for the small forward to return before they start playing good basketball.
The Spurs have struggled as of late, losing their last four games, with their most recent defeat being against the Denver Nuggets on Friday. They suffered a 122-119 loss on the night and things need to change quickly at the franchise otherwise they'll continue to slide down the rankings in the Western Conference.
They're 11 games behind the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors at the top of the conference, so earning one of the top two seeds is almost impossible, but if they don't keep on top of things, they could soon find themselves out of the playoff places entirely.
The Los Angeles Clippers are only three games behind San Antonio in 9th, so they need to step up their performances soon. Certainly the addition of Leonard would help that cause, but it doesn't look like he is coming back this season, so Popovich wants his team to get their heads in the game now.
The Spurs head coach said to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright: “We’ve pretty much been that way, but this is the last 23 games of the season. It doesn’t do any good to be wishing and hoping that somebody’s going to be added, and save the day, and all that silly stuff.
“These guys have got to go play for themselves and do what they do.”
It feels like it has been a lost season for the Spurs, as we aren't accustomed to them performing at this level in the Western Conference.
As Popovich has said, the sooner the side is able to get to grips with the fact that Leonard might not be returning this season, the better chances they have at earning a high seed in the Western Conference for a more suitable playoff run.
The Spurs will be hoping to snap their four-game losing streak and get themselves back on track in the Western Conference when they play next when they visit Cleveland to play against the Cavaliers later today.News Now - Sport News