James Harden’s Honest Kawhi Leonard Statement After Clippers-Mavericks

James Harden’s Honest Kawhi Leonard Statement After Clippers-Mavericks
Nov 24, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and guard James

The LA Clippers are officially eliminated from the 2024 NBA Playoffs

In this story:

The LA Clippers are officially eliminated from the 2024 NBA Playoffs, an outcome that felt inevitable once star forward Kawhi Leonard was sidelined indefinitely with right knee inflammation.

Heroics from James Harden and Paul George in Game 4 of LA’s opening round series vs. the Dallas Mavericks tied things at 2-2 entering Game 5 in Los Angeles, but neither star came close to replicating their Game 4 production in the final two games of the series. 

Leonard’s absence was felt more than even in games five and six, as Harden and George combined to shoot 17/59 in the two losses. Speaking with reporters after Game 6, Harden was honest when assessing the potential of this team, and added a statement about Leonard’s efforts to be out there in this series.

“With our roster we have enough to compete and be the last team standing, but health is a huge part of it,” Harden said. “The best ability is availability… For somebody like [Kawhi], he wants to be out there. He did everything in his power to be out there… It’s definitely frustrating for an entire group that had a pretty good regular season and had high hopes coming into the postseason.”

James Harden on the potential of this Clippers roster if healthy:

“With our roster we have enough to compete and be the last team standing, but health is a huge part of it. The best ability is availability… For somebody like [Kawhi], he wants to be out there. He did everything… pic.twitter.com/TXvFk9ZbsJ

— Joey Linn (@joeylinn_) May 4, 2024

This is the fourth-straight postseason that Leonard has been sidelined due to injury when the Clippers were eliminated. 

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