Kawhi Leonard has returned to play in the NBA 16 months after the last time, John Wall after 545 days. And both have had very good runs.
Leonard and Wall contributed to the 103-97 victory of their Los Angeles Clippers in the LA derby against the Lakers. For the former Spurs, he started from the bench, something that had not happened to him in more than 500 games, i.e., since 2013, with 21 minutes on the floor and 14 points scored. Wall did not start in the base quintet either but bagged 15 points in 25 minutes, with 7/11 from two and 0/4 from three.
Leonardo did not force but seemed fully recovered and ready to resume his role as leader of the team and the entire league. Also comforting was his performance against athletic players like Juan Toscano Anderson and especially LeBron James.
Leonard himself was satisfied in the postgame.
I felt very good. The staff has created a roster that fits my characteristics very well and can grow quickly. Everyone has contributed, and it\’s important for me and Paul George, as leaders, to know who we can trust. We are all trying to do the best we can in the minutes we are given, and that will make a difference.