While there is no change in status, and Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter will still be out for tonight's season opener, I can report some good news. Leonard's eye infection seems to have cleared up (I didn't notice any puffiness or discoloration) and he's healed to the point where the team's medical staff no longer feels that he's contagious. He was shooting with teammates at practice today and the layoff doesn't seem to have affected his jumper or conditioning as he looks quite fit and springy. He was making just about everything from mid-range whether it was a catch-and-shoot or off the jab step. He was also dropping some contested shots around the free throw area. In short, he looks like a typical bad-ass professional basketball player.
For you sneaker-heads out there, Leonard was also wearing his new kicks. His Nike Jordan brand shoes have a personalized logo on the back and the design is along the lines of what you would expect. Go out and pick up a pair for, oh -- whatever they're charging for shoes these days.
Kawhi Leonard is getting some love from Jordan Brand. // @AirMagKnows, @BALTsneakerShow pic.twitter.com/2fcF0Z5MxO— Jeffrey Jason (@iamjeffreyjason) October 28, 2014
(h/t to Dan McCarney of SAEN and Jeffrey Jason)
My hunch is that both Kawhi and his shoes will be making their season debut on Halloween in Phoenix and if not that game then definitely by the third game of the year, Nov. 5 against Atlanta. I'd be shocked if he's not back by then.
As for Splitter, he seems to be further away. I don't know if he re-aggrevated his strained right calf or what, but after observing him doing court work two weeks ago, I haven't seen any of that since. He was lightly jogging on a treadmill during shoot-around. Until I see him firing up jumpers with the rest of the fellas I can only assume he's not close to returning, but perhaps Gregg Popovich will offer some new information before the game.
I mean, he might, but it's probably not the way to bet.