San Antonio headed into Saturday night’s nationally-televised showdown having lost 9-of-12, their defense has fallen back to pedestrian levels in that time (15th in the league in those dozen games), and not only is the Spurs 50-win season streak going to end, they are just 1.5 games from falling out of the playoffs completely. On top of that, San Antonio has the toughest schedule in the West the rest of the way.
One thing could change everything: Kawhi Leonard.
Out for all but nine games this season, the Spurs best player could be back on the court next Wednesday.
There are a lot of questions about rust, how many minutes he can play at first, and more.
So what. The Spurs and the NBA need Leonard back. San Antonio’s offense has lacked a consistent shot creator all season long and Leonard can do that with the best of them when healthy. He helps the Spurs make the postseason and makes them far more dangerous once there. The West playoffs just got even more dangerous.