By: Jimmie Sykes
This has been the most eyebrow raising season for the Spurs in my opinion.
Kawhi Leonard has appeared in only nine games this season. In a roller coaster season for the Spurs, they currently sit at sixth place. There isn't a doubt in my mind that the Spurs will make the postseason. For a postseason run, Kawhi is needed.
If the playoffs started today, San Antonio would match up with the third place Portland Trailblazers. It would make for a good series, but the playoffs make for a different type of game. While Greg Popovich is the king of half court offense, star power is necessary. Portland thrives of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, they will need something to throw back at this dynamic backcourt.
Kawhi is the missing piece. We all remember game one of the Western Conference Finals last year. A game where Kawhi left with an ankle injury up big on the Golden State Warriors. As vital as he is to this team, he's not even the highest paid player on this roster. When healthy, Kawhi is arguably the best two-way player in the league (him and Jimmy Butler flip flops to me). He's a two-time defensive player of the year. A champion and a young finals MVP. This is a hell of an athlete that the Spurs are missing.
LaMarcus Aldridge is currently battling injury problems now as the season winds down. I wish speedy recovery for the Spurs best two players. Veteran leadership is all over this roster. The Spurs culture is still in tack. Availability is the best ability though. Moving forward, it will be interesting to watch where the Spurs are headed down the stretch.