National Basketball Association fines Clippers $50,000 for statements about Leonard

Tanya Simon
November 8, 2019

The Los Angeles Clippers will be trying to bounce back from their loss to the Milwaukee Bucks when they take on the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday night.

Earlier Thursday, the National Basketball Association fined the Clippers $50,000 regarding pregame comments coach Doc Rivers made regarding Leonard sitting out of Wednesday's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks due to "load management".

"The team has reasonably determined that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee and has been placed by the team at this time on an injury protocol for back-to-back games", the league's statement read.

Twice this season, Leonard has sat out the first game of a back-to-back set, the previous time coming in a Clippers loss at Utah in what was also a nationally televised game on October 30. "I'm not a guy that reads the media anyway".

Leonard had 27 points, 13 rebounds and six turnovers after missing a nationally televised loss to Milwaukee the previous night as part of load management for his knee. "What we said, we said", Rivers told reporters after the league's decision to impose a fine.

The Clippers host the Toronto Raptors on Monday and the Blazers welcome the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. "But he feels great because of what we've been doing".

"I thought Anfernee played terrific", he said.

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"You can't just turn that switch off and on, you've got to perform every day if you're going to be accepted in a place like this".

Both sides prefer to dominate the ball and with key men from both sides capable of big scores, we believe that Los Angeles and Portland will outscore their match averages (114.3 and 114.4 points per game respectively).

However, Los Angeles are 4-1 at home this season and we expect them to end their hoodoo with a 6-10 point victory priced at 333/100 for our second pick from the Clippers vs Trail Blazers odds.

Leonard's two free throws with 13.1 seconds left sealed the win for Los Angeles.

"I think Kawhi made the statement he's never felt better", Rivers added.

From last years playoff roster, the Blazers have lost Mo Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu and Enes Kanter to name just a few, and now must find more contributors and a relatively new roster to compliment the 51.8 points per game Lillard and McCollum are contributing.

Simons played 19:24 of the 24 minutes after halftime and combined with Whiteside to score 21 of Portland's 25 points in the final quarter. Asked if there is a middle ground between those two competing mandates, the veteran coach said, "I'm scared to answer".

"It just helps from just me pushing on something that's not ready", Leonard said of the long-term benefits of the strategy. "They'll take the fine", explained Wojnarowski on Twitter Thursday evening. "I'm not a doctor and that's for what the doctors and my training staff is for, letting me know and just telling how I feel and just got to keep moving it forward".

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