Originally written April 23, 2012 on Project Spurs:
Picture_8
The NBA season entered its last week Sunday and the San Antonio Spurs find themselves in a familiar spot, near the top of the standings.  But the way they've done it hasn't been in typical Spurs style.  Their offensive is SUPER efficient and I'm not sure there's a team that likes playing with one another more.  However, as has been chronicled over the season, they're just not the defensive juggernaut they used to be (though they're not bad by any means).  They don't have Bruce Bowen and they don't have Tim Duncan and a crew a tall, defensive minded bigs like in 2003, 2005 and 2007.  Still, the "no Bowen" part looks to be changing as rookie Kawhi Leonard continues to emerge.  He's been hailed as Bowen 2.0 by a lot of guys, including head coach Gregg Popovich.  Pop even told USA Today's J. Michael Falgoust that Kawhi could become much more than another Bruce Bowen. "Kawhi guards the toughest perimeter player on the other team. He's got great length. A great body. Has an inclination to do it. He enjoys the role. He's more gifted than Bruce, skillwise," Popovich said. "Once we figured that out we opened up for him and he worked very hard on his shot, especially his three-point shot. (Assistant coach) Chip England has spent a lot of time with him on that so he's got confidence. He lets it fly. He's not Chris Mullin yet but we don't mind when he takes his open threes." First off, I would really, REALLY like to see Kawhi with a Chris Mullin crew cut. Second, Pop didn't even mention that when it comes to driving to the basket, Leonard is already light years ahead of Bruce.  Seeing him dunk on guys brings warm feelings to every Spurs fans hearts and many all caps and exclamation points to their tweets.  I'm still worried how a 20 year old kid is going to handle the playoffs and I hope he'll gamble a little less on defense, but it's hard to be disappointed with the results so far.  So keep getting your dunk on, Kawhi.  Keep mumbling during your post game interviews.  Keep improving on defense and keep shooting those corner 3's.  You've made fans out of a lot us very quickly.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Five things to watch in the AL Wild Card game

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

Is hiring Mack Brown a real possibility for SMU Mustangs?

NFL: Abdullah should not have been penalized for praying

Belichick: Pats 'didn't play well enough at all' against Chiefs

AL Wild Card live blog

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

The best and worst MLB players in September

Spurs 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!

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

AL Wild Card live blog

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

AL Wild Card preview

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

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.