Throw in the towel. Save your superstar. Protect your franchise.
No matter what the doctors say before Game 4 between your San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors on Monday, don't let Kawhi Leonard take the court.
The Western Conference finals are over. We all know it, including you.
And we get it. You're devastated by Leonard's injury. Earlier this week, you told reporters this one will stick with you like Ray Allen's 3-pointer in the 2013 NBA Finals.
You had a chance, but you're down 3-0 because of Leonard's unfortunate injury, and that stings more than the world could know.
The Spurs were set to shock the world, judging by the first 24 minutes of Game 1, and Popovich knew it.
Although rust was a large part of Golden State's shockingly flat performance in that game, San Antonio came out with a game plan and executed it to perfection.
Even allowing that Golden State wouldn't have another outing like Game 1, the Spurs could have won four games against the Warriors, because this team is relentless.
We saw San Antonio's heart once again in Game 3. Without Leonard, Tony Parker or David Lee, who suffered a knee injury in the first quarter, the Spurs kept fighting. They took a 33-29 first-quarter lead, then kept the game close through the fourth quarter.
Eventually, Golden State stopped messing around and finished off San Antonio, 120-108, but you still got the sense we underestimated this team.
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Yes, the Spurs had a chance to win four times in seven games, long-shot though it was.
Four straight victories to come back from a 3-0 deficit, though? That's not happening — not in this or any other reality.
You're not going to win the Western Conference finals, Pop. The only thing you're going to do by playing Leonard is open him up to the chance of further injury.
It's not worth the risk. You can regroup this summer, hope that LaMarcus Aldridge figures out how to be his best self, and see if a big-name, free-agent point guard wants to join your ranks.
You'll be right back here next season, assuming you don't let Leonard take the chance of ruining his career.
Ankle injuries are nothing to mess with. The Warriors live every day knowing that one slip by Stephen Curry could doom their dynasty. With Leonard having suffered two discrete foot injuries in the past two weeks, one more could prove catastrophic.
Conceding the series sucks, to be sure. No one wants to roll over while there's still a chance of victory.
Against these Warriors, that chance is gone. Playing Leonard in Game 4 would be a huge mistake. And if you somehow win Game 4, don't you dare think about playing him in Game 5, or 6, or 7.
Your season is over, San Antonio. The last thing you need is to ruin the future.