10 Predictions for the Rest of the 2023-24 NBA Odd Season

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12:  Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers looks on during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 12, 2024 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Tyler Ross/NBAE via Getty Images)

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The Knicks are going to again their No. 4 space and the residence-court advantage that includes it, but the Los Angeles Clippers are with out warning taking a look at a much less encouraging fate.

Kawhi Leonard missed a 124-117 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on March 10 consequently of left groin soreness, and he seen factual 12 minutes of motion in a 118-100 defeat on the fingers of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. This time, it was once thoracic spasms (which…no, thank you) that knocked him out of motion and resulted in him leaving the sector early.

It be no longer factual Leonard showing signs of unhurried-season attach on; questionable tags are popping up everywhere—from Paul George’s left knee knocking him out to James Harden playing via a left shoulder stress.

As a consequence, the Clips are blowing leads and shedding contact with the tip three teams in the West. This, after a 26-5 bustle from Dec. 2 to Feb. 5 had them taking a look love a accurate threat to enact first in the convention.

It be too early to sound the worry at beefy quantity, but this is no longer what you favor to investigate cross-take a look at from a Clippers team whose finest capability pitfall was once consistently the health of its prime players. Leonard showed a stage of sturdiness this season he hadn’t touched in years, reaffirming his space as one in all the half-dozen simplest players in the league when healthy.

Now, though, or no longer it is beginning to feel love the accurate terror that many shared about him and his team is popping into truth.

Defensive uncertainty and all, the fifth-seeded New Orleans Pelicans are piling up wins. The Phoenix Suns, getting healthier at No. 6, are lurking. Even the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks would possibly perhaps perhaps well also assemble things engrossing if L.A. truly falls off. Between unhealthy pursuers and mounting health concerns, the Clippers’ location among the many West’s prime four would possibly perhaps perhaps well also no longer closing.

Grant Hughes covers the NBA for Bleacher Document. Note him on Twitter (@gt_hughes), and subscribe to the Hardwood Knocks podcast, the build he seems with Bleacher Document’s Dan Favale.

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