NBA

Kawhi Leonard to miss Game 5 v Jazz, ruled out indefinitely with knee injury

By Sports Desk June 16, 2021

Kawhi Leonard will miss Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals, according to multiple reports, after the Los Angeles Clippers star was ruled out indefinitely with a right knee sprain.

Leonard, the two-time NBA Finals MVP, has played an instrumental role in levelling the seven-game series with the Utah Jazz at 2-2 after the Clippers fell into a 0-2 hole.

He scored 34 points in 31 minutes as the Clippers took Game 4 at Staples Center, the highlight a monstrous dunk over Derrick Favors.

But with the series now shifting back to Utah for Game 5, the Clippers now face the prospect of potentially being without Leonard for the rest of the series.

It could prove a potentially fatal blow to the Clippers' hopes of progressing to a Western Conference Finals matchup with the Phoenix Suns.

He leads the Clippers with 30.4 points per game in the postseason, comfortably ahead of Paul George (24.9).

Only three players in the league have had a greater scoring influence on victories for their respective teams during the playoffs.

Leonard has averaged 33.8 points per game in wins this postseason, a tally bettered by only Luka Doncic (37.3), Nikola Jokic (37) and Anthony Davis (34).

The Clippers, who have never reached the Conference Finals in their history, will look to take a 3-2 lead by overcoming Leonard's absence and the Jazz in Game 5 on Wednesday.

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    Ja Morant won't be able to play his first game for the Memphis Grizzlies until December 19.

    He will, however, be allowed to train with the team immediately.

    The Grizzlies confirmed Monday that Morant is allowed to travel, practise and even participate in shootarounds during his 25-game suspension.

    "I think it's great for Ja, and I think it's great for the group that he can be with us day to day," Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman said during the team's media day. "The NBA basically has said that as long as Ja continues to stay on track, he's going to be clear to participate in all private team activities, so practices, shootarounds, traveling with the team. He's not going to be with us obviously for preseason games and the first 25, but we'll see him out there and we can't wait to have him back Game 26."

     

    The NBA suspended Morant for 25 games without pay on June 16 for appearing in a second video on social media while brandishing a gun. He had posed with a firearm for a social media live stream on May 13, less than two months after serving an eight-game suspension for posing with a gun for a video in a Denver nightclub on March 4.

    Kleiman said having Morant able to train and be around the team will be beneficial to both the Grizzlies, as well as, Morant as it will help keep him accountable.

    "There's steps that I think Ja is continuing to take that are really positive and in the right direction," Kleiman said. "It's great to have him here. I think he's put himself in a position where there’s no reason why he can't keep following through on this. So we're glad he's here and can't wait to have him back."

    Coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant won't be working with the starters during practise, seeing as he won't be playing in any games for the first two months of the season and the team needs to be able to function without him, but they have a plan to get him ready.

    An All-Star each of the last two seasons, Morant averaged 26.2 points with career highs of 8.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds in 61 games last season.

    The 2020 Rookie of the Year is entering the first year of a five-year $197million maximum contract.

  • Morant allowed to travel, practice with Grizzlies during suspension Morant allowed to travel, practice with Grizzlies during suspension

    Ja Morant won't be able to play his first game for the Memphis Grizzlies until December 19.

    He will, however, be allowed to train with the team immediately.

    The Grizzlies confirmed Monday that Morant is allowed to travel, practise and even participate in shootarounds during his 25-game suspension.

    "I think it's great for Ja, and I think it's great for the group that he can be with us day to day," Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman said during the team's media day. "The NBA basically has said that as long as Ja continues to stay on track, he's going to be clear to participate in all private team activities, so practices, shootarounds, traveling with the team. He's not going to be with us obviously for preseason games and the first 25, but we'll see him out there and we can't wait to have him back Game 26."

     

    The NBA suspended Morant for 25 games without pay on June 16 for appearing in a second video on social media while brandishing a gun. He had posed with a firearm for a social media live stream on May 13, less than two months after serving an eight-game suspension for posing with a gun for a video in a Denver nightclub on March 4.

    Kleiman said having Morant able to train and be around the team will be beneficial to both the Grizzlies, as well as, Morant as it will help keep him accountable.

    "There's steps that I think Ja is continuing to take that are really positive and in the right direction," Kleiman said. "It's great to have him here. I think he's put himself in a position where there’s no reason why he can't keep following through on this. So we're glad he's here and can't wait to have him back."

    Coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant won't be working with the starters during practise, seeing as he won't be playing in any games for the first two months of the season and the team needs to be able to function without him, but they have a plan to get him ready.

    An All-Star each of the last two seasons, Morant averaged 26.2 points with career highs of 8.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds in 61 games last season.

    The 2020 Rookie of the Year is entering the first year of a five-year $197million maximum contract.

  • Celtics acquire Holiday in trade with Trail Blazers Celtics acquire Holiday in trade with Trail Blazers

    Jrue Holiday is on the move again.

    Four days after being traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to Portland, the Boston Celtics have acquired the veteran point guard from the Trail Blazers.

    Boston sent point guard Malcolm Brogdon and forward Robert Williams, along with a 2024 first-round draft pick and an unprotected first-round pick in 2029 to Portland for Holiday on Sunday.

    Holiday was just acquired by the Trail Blazers on Wednesday as part of the blockbuster three-team trade that saw the Bucks land seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard.

     

    The 33-year-old Holiday earned a second career All-Star nod in 2022-23, averaging 19.3 points and 7.4 assists.

    Despite the solid offensive numbers, Holiday is considered one of the NBA's best defenders. He is a five-time All-Defensive selection and has been a finalist for defensive player of the year each of the last three seasons.

    With the Celtics, he is expected to take over as the team's starting point guard after Marcus Sent was shipped to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade this offseason.

    Aside from his four days on Portland's roster, Holiday, who has career averages of 16.4 points and 6.5 assists in 14 seasons, will once again continue playing for an Eastern Conference power, as the Celtics have reached three of the last four conference finals.

    Brogdon averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 67 games off the bench last season for the Celtics - his first in Boston after spending the previous three with the Indiana Pacers. Brogdon began his career with the Bucks in 2016-17, and is averaging 15.4 points in his seven-year career.

    Williams had spent his first five NBA seasons with the Celtics, and averaged 8.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in 35 games in 2022-23.

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