LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will play against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night at Crypto Dot Com Arena. The whole 2021–22 season, the Clippers were without star player Kawhi Leonard while he healed from a torn right ACL. Is Kawhi Leonard playing against the Lakers as the star draws ever-closer to his eagerly awaited return?
Kawhi Leonard will the Lakers play?
With a 2-2 record, the Clippers completed their preseason schedule. Playing in games alternated between Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, John Wall, Reggie Jackson, Nicolas Batum, and Norman Powell. In just two preseason games, Leonard averaged 9.5 points, two rebounds, and two assists while playing just 16.5 minutes per contest on 43.8 percent shooting.
Kawhi Leonard is expected to play against the Lakers on Thursday night, according to the most recent remarks from head coach Tyronn Lue. Last season, the Clippers finished with a 42-40 regular season record despite playing without the two-time NBA Finals MVP.
Here is the Clippers forward’s first field goal against the Portland Trail Blazers in his first preseason game back.
Kawhi Leonard s first bucket pic.twitter.com/u0PVgDVjI4
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) October 4, 2022
On July 13, 2021, Kawhi Leonard had surgery to repair a partial tear in his right anterior cruciate ligament. He has been working diligently to recover in time for the start of the 2022–23 NBA season in the approximately 15 months since his ACL surgery.
The Clippers star was first spotted practising jump shots on October 19:
Kawhi Leonard put up some jumpers today before Clippers practice. pic.twitter.com/8MLEvHQ2kZ
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) October 19, 2021
Later, NBA on TNT stated that as of November 10th, Leonard was performing powerful box jumps.
Lue put both hands on the three-foot high table in front of him and said, “Um, hop up on this table.” “It’s simply good to see him moving around, being able to jump, and progressing the way he is. But that’s pretty much all.
Following Kawhi Leonard’s first five-on-five session with the team on Day 1 of training camp, Tyronn Lue had the following to say about the player.
Lue remarked, “He looked pretty fantastic. It was encouraging to see that both practises went through everything. He claimed to feel good and prepared for today’s session. That is very encouraging. He is fine to go for today, so that is excellent. We just kind of read him, read his body, and let the doctors tell us what we need to do.
Kawhi Leonard’s comeback was eagerly anticipated last season, but the player and the organisation finally decided to play it safe and bench him for the whole campaign.
Kawhi Leonard effectively confirmed on Media Day that he wouldn’t be able to play last season.
. @MirjamSwanson: “Was there a chance you would’ve come back for the playoffs had they gotten that far?”
Kawhi Leonard (jokingly): “I mean, it’s all woulda, coulda, shoulda right now. Yeah, if they would’ve made it to the Finals last year, you would’ve seen me play.” *laughs* pic.twitter.com/4xkMp8uJzs
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) September 26, 2022
Tyronn Lue predicts the Clippers will play it safe with Kawhi Leonard and John Wall in their season-opening game against the Lakers.
We have a goal in mind for what we want those guys to play, so I won’t let you know that, but just make sure we do the right thing, just being smart and trusting the data that we’ve received back from those guys and just making sure their body is feeling well, how they’re feeling, and then we can continue to slowly, slowly progress. But even if they want to participate and perform more, we have to make sure that we’re treating those players fairly right now.
Is Kawhi Leonard playing tonight? is answered as the Clippers get ready for their opening regular-season matchup against the Lakers. He is, indeed.
Is Kawhi Leonard playing for the Clippers against the Lakers? was the first to appear on ClutchPoints.