Undaunted Leonard stepping up to the challenge

Spurs' rookie Kawhi Leonard brings his defense in the NBA.

When the San Antonio Spurs sent George Hill to Indiana for the rights to draft Kawhi Leonard, many basketball observers considered it a high-risk move.

A lot of Spurs fans probably cursed that draft night too.

Hill after all was one of the most popular young Spurs player at the time and letting go of some one like him was difficult to say the least.

Nonetheless, the Spurs chose to push through because they were intrigued by Leonard’s ability to guard multiple positions.

Apparently, the Spurs made the right decision.

Thirteen games into his young NBA career, Leonard is currently averaging 8.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game.

In Sunday night’s victory over the Phoenix Suns, he scored 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting (including two 3-pointers) with eight rebounds, one steal, one blocked shot and one assist in 33 minutes of action.

The rookie forward has now started three straight games and has improved his production over the last five games. Leonard has put up 13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.2 assists per game during that stretch while shooting 56.9 percent from the field, including 50 percent from the beyond the arc.

The Spurs bring him over mainly because of his defense, his emphasis on playing tough ‘D’ is also the reason why he has earned a spot into coach Gregg Popovich’s regular rotation but he has given a lot more by providing San Antonio some needed offensive punch.

With Manu Ginobili and T.J. Ford out with injuries, the Spurs for the time being are happy to have a rookie that plays hard on both ends of the floor and who’s defense is now being compared to no less than Bruce Bowen.

While Bowen’s defensive prowess and contribution to the Spurs is hard to match, Leonard is certainly on the right direction just doing what he does best.


7 thoughts on “Undaunted Leonard stepping up to the challenge

  1. Leonard’s hardwork has been paying off, the Spurs are looking geniuses once again by acquiring Leonard on draft night.

    Add the fact that they also acquired young Bertans and another big guy in the trade makes it sweeter.

  2. Special K is proving to be the biggest trade in the franchise history thus far. Steady numbers, but remember before he can be compare to Bruce Almighty it took Bruce years to become the legend that he is. With Special K here we just got a bigger and better package that is ahead of time. Now how does the all saying goes quote “The World Is Cover By 70% Water And The Rest By Bruce Bowen”, maybe the other 70% will be cover by L Kwahi in the future. Imagine if both were on the team and court at the same time.

  3. Robby
    Outstanding Post.
    Tophatal; Great links in reminding us how great a job the SAS FO has done. Thanks for not making me trying to do research on SAS present and past drafts and free agency pick ups, I appreciate all the great work you guys do.

  4. Pingback: Blair Getting the Job done « Spurs World

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