Kawhi Leonard (ACL), Chris Paul (COVID) To Miss Time
A double-whammy of news broke this morning affecting star players of two of the remaining three NBA Western Conference playoff contenders. After not finishing the Los Angeles Clippers Game 4 rout over Utah, Kawhi Leonard has now been ruled out of Game 5 against the Utah Jazz. Later word has the organization fearing a torn ACL. Upon that update, the Clippers odds of winning the NBA Championship decreased from +500 to +1100. In Phoenix, Chris Paul has entered COVID-19 health and safety protocol ahead of the Western Conference Final. The Suns next play this coming Sunday or early next week, depending on the duration of the Clippers v. Jazz series. It is possible Paul misses just the first two games, perhaps a better long-term situation than Leonard. Jazz Nation should not celebrate, as Donovan Mitchell's ankle issue could resurface. And then there is Kyrie Irving's ankle amongst other injuries in the Eastern Conference. The battle to become 2021 NBA Champions has turned into a war of attrition.