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Western Conference Race Altered with Potential Leonard and Paul Absences

The Western Conference Playoffs could look significantly different following the news regarding Kawhi Leonard’s knee injury and Chris Paul’s inclusion in COVID-19 protocols.

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2020 NBA All-Star Game Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

The postseason landscape in the Western Conference could look significantly different following news tied to Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Suns point guard Chris Paul surfaced on Wednesday.

Paul, who helped guide the Suns to a sweep of the Nuggets, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The Athletic’s Shams Charania provided an update this morning.

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and is sidelined for an indefinite period of time, sources tell The Athletic.

Paul’s status is up in the air for the start of the Western Conference finals, according to sources. Paul’s Suns will face the winner of the Jazz-Clippers series, which is tied 2-2.

Depending on the medical circumstance, an isolation period could be shorter for a vaccinated individual.

For the Clippers, it appears they could be forced to navigate the remainder of their series against the Jazz without Leonard in the fold. A report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst explained that Leonard will miss Game 5 and his absence could extend through the rest of the current round.

LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard will miss Wednesday’s Game 5 against the Utah Jazz with a right knee injury and could be out the remainder of the series.

The Clippers announced Wednesday that Leonard suffered a right knee sprain in their Game 4 victory and there is “no timetable for his return.”

UPDATE: Kawhi Leonard is expected to be out “indefinitely” per Shams Charania of the Athletic due to an ACL injury.

The Clippers and Jazz return to action tonight for Game 5.