- Kawhi Leonard will likely miss Game 5 of the series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz after suffering a knee injury near the end of Game 4.
- He has reportedly told teammates to prepare for him to be out, as online gambling sites adjusted the betting line from LA Clippers +3 to LA Clippers +7.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The NBA playoffs have been dogged by star players suffering injury woes, and it seems as though there’s another name to add to that list - Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard suffered a knee injury late in the Clippers’ Game 4 victory over the Utah Jazz, and is reportedly out for Game 5 - if not more.
Kawhi Leonard is expected to miss Game 5 against the Jazz tonight with a knee injury suffered in game 4, sources tell @ramonashelburne & me. His status for rest of series is in doubt as well.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 16, 2021
Leonard has been the driving force behind the success seen by the Los Angeles Clippers, and his absence will be felt immediately.
The Clippers were modest underdogs on the road at Utah before news of the injury broke, with the online sportsbooks spotting them three points on the spread. After the injury news broke on Wednesday morning, the Clippers moved to seven point underdogs.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz - Game 5 Spread
- Los Angeles Clippers +7.0 (-105)
- Utah Jazz -7.0 (-115)
It’s worth noting that the shading on this NBA line appears to be going in Utah’s direction as well, which could portend further movement away from the Clippers.
Without Kawhi on the floor, the Clippers likely do not have the star power to match up against Utah’s collection of elite talent and high level roleplayers.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz - Game 5 Moneyline
- Los Angeles Clippers +240
- Utah Jazz -290
The moneyline tells this story as well, with the Jazz more favored in Game 5 than they have been in any game all series.
However, it’s not just Game 5 that is in jeopardy for Leonard - it could be the rest of the series, if not more. The online sportsbooks pulled the series odds for the matchup between the Clippers and Jazz as soon as the news broke.
Without full confirmation of Leonard’s status, handicapping the series as a whole seems tough to do as a sports betting fan, let alone as a sportsbook..
For now, it seems as though he won’t be playing in Game 5, for sure. The rest of the series is a huge unknown.