National Basketball Association (NBA)

The NBA's tough choice in the "Big Two" era

Kawhi Leonard
Cute pic, you guys!!! Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

As the league's top teams move away from a "Big Three" structure to one defined by "Big Twos," they're faced with a decision.

The choice: Stagger the two stars' minutes to maximize the amount of time at least one of them is on the floor — or play them together as much as possible to maximize the amount of time they're both on the floor.

The NBA's "load management" issue

LA Clippers player Kawhi Leonard speaking with management
Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the second time in eight games, Kawhi Leonard missed the front end of a Clippers back-to-back, nixing what was supposed to be a battle between the reigning MVP (Giannis Antetokounmpo) and the reigning NBA Finals MVP (Leonard).

The state of play: In his absence, Antetokounmpo (38-16-9) became the sixth player in NBA history with three straight 30-15-5 games, and the Bucks won 129-124.