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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Doc Rivers says Kawhi Leonard no longer has minutes restriction

Kawhi Leonard

As the NBA postseason nears, Kawhi Leonard appears to be nearing full strength as well.

Before the LA Clippers played the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, head coach Doc Rivers discussed Kawhi Leonard’s defensive workload amid his increased responsibility of late to check the top scorers of the opposing team.

“Health-wise, Kawhi can guard anyone now,” said Rivers, per Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. “He doesn’t have to worry about his minutes. Now there’s no restrictions on him anymore and so that’s great.”

While he is still sitting out of back-to-back contests, Leonard has slowly crept up to 32.4 minutes per game on the season. While that is still down from the 34.0 per game that he averaged with the Toronto Raptors last year, he has seen 36 minutes or more in four games now over the last month.

Rivers has had to defend the team’s handling of Leonard’s health many times this season, but with the reigning Finals MVP seemingly peaking at just the right time, hopefully their strategy is working.

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