The San Antonio Spurs are currently up 2-1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of the NBA playoffs, and Kawhi Leonard is a huge reason why.
He used to receive criticism for his inability to take over games on the offensive end and for his lack of consistent shooting, but this season and particularly during the playoffs, he has shown that he can be the number one option on a great team.
During this postseason, Leonard is averaging 22.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals per game. He is also shooting an impressive 53.4 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from deep. Leonard has been getting it done on both ends of the floor in the postseason, and he is usually matched up with the opponent’s best player. Leonard is putting up these numbers while guarding Kevin Durant, one of the best scorers in the NBA, on defense.
Leonard has been known for his defense in the past, but he has taken his offensive game to another level. Leonard has become a very good three-point shooter (44.3 percent three-point shooter during the regular season) and he has shown that he has the ability to take over games on the offensive end. The Spurs are becoming Kawhi’s team quicker than expected because of how well he has been playing.
He is coming off a huge Game 3 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he scored 31 points and 11 rebounds in a road victory for San Antonio.
The Spurs would not be one of the best teams in the NBA if it were not for Leonard and it is time to recognize that he is a superstar, not a “system” player.
Kawhi The Superstar
Kawhi has become a superstar before our eyes this season and he has asserted himself as the best two-way player in the NBA. Leonard can do just about everything on a basketball court on the defensive end and now he has shown that he can take over games on the offensive end. We are starting to see more and more that Leonard wants the ball on offense and that he is confident in his offensive game.
In the past, he was hesitant to shoot and score at times, but now he is showing that he is not afraid to take the big shot … or to shoot at all.
The Spurs need Leonard to keep up this play if they want to make a run for the championship. Honestly, the Spurs need Leonard’s offense more going forward than his defense. If Kawhi struggles on offense, the team has trouble finding scoring options, which is why they need Leonard to keep up his consistent shooting and scoring.
Leonard has turned into a superstar this season and he has continued his superstar play throughout the postseason. Watching Leonard evolve into a superstar has been a pleasure to watch, and if he can carry this Spurs’ team to a championship, then Leonard should have no doubters anymore.