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Load Management Begins: Kawhi Leonard Out Tonight Against Utah

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 28:  Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots over Terry Rozier #3 and Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Let the load management takes commence. Kawhi Leonard is sitting out the Clippers' matchup with the Utah Jazz tonight in the first game of a back-to-back.

People are surprised about this, for some reason. The Clippers did say ahead of the season they had no plans to rest Kawhi for "load management" reasons, the same reasons that plagued the league and were the center of some controversy all last year. But admitting to the public you plan on resting your superstar at yet-to-be-determined dates throughout the season isn't exactly the best sales strategy, wouldn't you say?

Outside of financial reasons and public perception (which are both important but can be solved by winning), the franchise has no reason to feel pressure to play Leonard more than they feel is prudent. He missed 20-something games last year, and while the fans who attended those particular games certainly weren't pleased, I imagine the sweet satisfaction in the form of the Larry O'Brien Trophy eased their woes.

So get used to it. This is only the first of many.