If only the Spurs had some sort of extended timeout in the playoffs. Just one that lasted just a few short weeks, so that their star player could return to the court and provide some much-needed scoring against a Golden State team that’s widely considered one of the best teams in NBA history. At Spurs’ media day Monday, Kawhi Leonard said his ankle felt perfect just 2 1/2 short weeks after the Spurs were swept out of the Western Conference Finals. With Leonard, the Spurs had a chance. In Game 1 against the Warriors, they built an improbable 25-point lead. Then when Leonard re-tweaked an already sprained ankle after landing on Zaza Pachulia’s foot in the third quarter of that game, the Warriors went on an 18-0 run and eventually won, 113-111. Leonard sat the rest of the series. And the Warriors went on to sweep them out of the playoffs. The Spurs’ superstar, however, said he’s not thinking about ‘what ifs.” “No, because we could always go back farther than that to when I was a child and say, ‘What if?'” Leonard said. “I don’t live life with regrets.” Leonard said he’s glad the NBA implemented a new rule in which they can call flagrant or technical fouls on players who jump dangerously close to shooters and don’t give them a clear path to land. “I just think it’s good to protect the players from getting hurt,” he said. “It happened in the past to the players I saw when I wasn’t in the NBA. So I think it’s a good rule just for the defender to be cautious, and not to injure the player.” Leonard initially said he didn’t think Pachulia meant to hurt him, though many thought the closeout play in Game 1 was dirty, including Popovich. Leonard was asked Monday whether he reconsidered.
Kawhi Leonard says his ankle felt good shortly after Conference Finals
My San Antonio | Sep 26