Kawhi says Game 3 decision up to him, but ankle 'still not ready'

by
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is officially listed as questionable for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors, and the decision on whether he'll play Saturday will be left to him.

"If I feel good, I'm going to play," Leonard told reporters Friday, according to Melissa Rohin of the San Antonio Express-News.

Leonard was knocked out of Game 1 in the third quarter after landing on Warriors center Zaza Pachulia's foot when coming down on a jump shot, and re-aggravating his sprained left ankle. Leonard initially sprained the ankle in Game 5 of the West semis against the Houston Rockets, and sat out both the tail end of that game and all of Game 6.

He'll test the ankle before Saturday's game to determine whether he thinks he can go.

"Just seeing if I can run and at least be myself on the court," he said. "Don't want to hobble around or shoot off-balance shots. Just want to be able to push with both legs. Just that, really."

Leonard, who leads the league with a 32.6 PER in the playoffs, says the ankle needs to show some improvement if he's to suit up for Game 3.

"I mean, it's still not ready," he said. "It's just questionable for tomorrow. I could be feeling way better."

To state the obvious, the Spurs need Leonard to play if they're to have even a fraction of a hope of turning around their 0-2 series deficit and upending the Warriors. They were up 23 points in Game 1 when Leonard went down, but were outscored by 25 in less than 20 minutes thereafter. For the playoffs, the Spurs have been 21.5 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor.