LA Clippers superstar forward Kawhi Leonard will miss his second game of the 2019-20 NBA season Thursday.
According to multiple reports, the Clippers will rest the 2019 Finals MVP when 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Staples Center. The official designation is listed as "load management, knee" (per Andrew Greif, LA Times).
Kawhi Leonard has been listed as OUT (load management, knee) ahead of tomorrow's game vs. Milwaukee.- Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) November 6, 2019
Leonard's absence comes exactly one week after he missed his first game of the season, a road visit to take on the Jazz on Thursday, Oct. 31, which was the front end of a back-to-back; it is the same case this week, as the Clippers welcome Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers into the Staples Center on Friday.
Fans will now miss out on a rematch of the best two players from the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals, a series in which Leonard and Antetokounmpo went toe-to-toe for six games before the Raptors would ultimately eliminate the Bucks.
The Clippers and Bucks meet for the second and final time this season at Fiserv Forum on Dec. 7
While Clippers head coach Doc Rivers asserted that Kawhi playing on both ends of back-to-backs, there is a pattern with his load management absences early on this season.
After this set of games, the Clippers have just seven sets of back-to-backs remaining on their schedule this season, the next of which falls on Nov. 27 and Nov. 28 when they face the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies, respectively.