Kawhi Leonard is usually a different animal once the NBA reaches its postseason stage. Leonard has led his teams to an NBA Championship twice in his career. And on both occasions, he won the Finals MVP award.
The first of his Championships came in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs. In the semi-finals of the Western Conference against Portland Trail Blazers, Leonard had finished with a team-high 22 points apart from taking down seven rebounds.
Two of those 22 points had come when he outran almost the whole of Trail Blazers team to slam the ball into the net. Leonard was the one to inflict a turnover with a steal and dashed towards the rim to finish with a slam.
The Spurs eventually won the game, taking them into the Conference finals. The Spurs would beat Oklahoma City Thunder in the Conference Finals and later deny LeBron James‘ Miami Heat a three-peat to win the 2014 NBA Championship. Four years later, Leonard joined the Toronto Raptors and won the Championship with them in his only season there.
Currently, he is playing for Los Angeles Clippers. With him and Paul George on their back, the Clippers have been among the top performers in the league this season.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report, Danny Green, who was Leonard’s teammate for eight seasons, talked about how difficult it is to prevent him from taking over.
“As with all great players, there is no real stopping them,” he said. “It’s trying to contain them. I think the best thing with any superstar is to try to limit his touches. Try not to let him catch the ball where he wants it. Try to deny him some, double team him some, throw different looks at him. He’s a tough player. I know what he’s going to do, and I still can’t stop him.”
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