San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: The potential season finale of no Kawhi Leonard

By Rob Wolkenbrod
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 14: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs stands during player introductions prior to Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriorsc at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 14: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs stands during player introductions prior to Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriorsc at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Friday night’s game represents a potential “season finale” for the San Antonio Spurs.

It’s the potential end of what will be a 26-game arc for the San Antonio Spurs. Kawhi Leonard was ruled out for Friday’s game vs. the Boston Celtics, the 26th game of the 2017-18 season that he will not appear in. However, a return on Saturday, Dec. 9 looks possible, as long as his re-evaluation checks out.

By the time Leonard potentially gets back, it will be over two months of questions and speculation that ends, which started during training camp. The severity of the injury and when it was suffered never came to light and, at this point, may never become public knowledge. It’s represented a long cliffhanger, including no clear-cut timetable for a return, until the previously-noted report.

While Leonard’s absence lingered and the Spurs missed him through the first quarter of the season, a better-than-expected performance was put on. Whether it was LaMarcus Aldridge‘s starring role or a supporting cast of Rudy Gay, Pau Gasol and the improving Danny Green, they combined for a 17-8 record. It’s the third-best record in the Western Conference, with the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors ahead. Aldridge may even get an All-Star Game nod for this work, whether or not it continues when the Klaw returns.

This cast must perform one more night, against the NBA’s record-leading team, the Boston Celtics. Led by Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, and rising talents Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, this team looks like the early favorite from the Eastern Conference, and a team the Spurs could face if an NBA Finals appearance is in their future.

Next: Top 25 players in Spurs history

Look out for this “season finale” and if the Spurs can top one of the NBA’s best teams. If so, it could make for a satisfying end to a successful arc.

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