Originally written March 20, 2013 on Project Spurs:
Kawhi Leonard has become known as the San Antonio Spurs’ defensive stopper. He’s still very young, only in his second year in the league, but he gets the tough assignments when it comes to guarding guys like Thunder's Kevin Durant. Lately, the Spurs have been getting a nice bonus from Leonard on the offensive end. He scored 24 points and added four assists against Cleveland on Saturday, and he’s been averaging almost 16 points per game through the month of March. He says he just likes to get in the flow of the game. "Coach Pop just wants me to shoot good shots when I'm shooting,” Leonard said. “I'm just trying not to force anything and just let the game come to me. Being in the league for a year and a half, I just know what spots to go to and find my rhythm." If you take a look at Leonard’s shot chart, you can see that he takes most of his shots in the corner, or in the paint. He benefits from the drive-and-kick but is also very good at taking it strong to the basket. He also takes a good amount of three-pointers from the elbow area, but he may start shying away from those because they’re the only spots on his chart that are red. As Leonard continues to grow and get more experience in the NBA, I would expect him to really find his spots and his shooting percentage to go even higher. He’s the type of guy who can give you true offensive efficiency, scoring a good amount of points without taking too many shots. Leonard’s contribution to the Spurs this season has been invaluable and he’s quickly becoming one of the most important guys on the floor. As guys like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili start to fade out of the picture, expect Leonard to fill their shoes.
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