Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Nba_trailblazers_vs_6161

So far it's been smooth sailing for San Antonio Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard but tonight he will face for the first time the Spurs' chief rival -- Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs and Spurs have a storied history as these two teams have been in classic playoff series and heated regular season meetings. Tonight Kawhi will get his first taste of this rivalry.

Prior to tonight's matchup, Leonard shared his thoughts on the defending champs.

"A very good team, coming off a championship. Just got to play hard and just know what everybody does on Dallas and try to figure it out on the court and just get the job done. Come out with a victory."

And not only will it mark his first time facing the Mavs, it also marks his first time on the court playing against Dirk Nowitzki.

"He's a very good player and I look up to him as far as winning a championship and how hard he works just to get his skill level up to what it is now and he's just a great, all-around player. He can finish at the basket, shoot 15-feet, and the three-ball."

Although Leonard may not play the power-forward spot, it doesn't mean there won't be the possibility he won't defend the bigger Dirk in tonight's matchup when the Spurs use a smaller lineup. Which could prove advantageous for Leonard's development picking up a few things from Dirk.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

Report: Rick Barnes not expected back at Texas

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' for Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rick Barnes not returning to Texas?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.