Found March 21, 2013 on Project Spurs:
When the San Antonio Spurs traded away fan favorite George Hill for the rights to San Diego State’s Kawhi Leonard two summers ago, most Spurs fans were disappointed that trading away such a commodity didn’t land the silver and black a much-coveted big man. A 6-7 small forward with questionable offensive skills and a high-energy motor left the Spurs with someone more than a few inches short of the player they desired, but Leonard has shown that he can give the Spurs some of what they targeted in their dream big man. Aside from the ability to defend on the perimeter and down low, and getting his oversized paws on 25 shots for blocks this season, Leonard is his helping his frontcourt mates in the rebounding category as well. That was all on display in the Spurs’ last game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Leonard lead the Spurs with 24 points, a career-high 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots. It was the fifth time Leonard had racked up more than 10 rebounds this season. “He’s been great. He’s been offensive rebounding as well,” Spurs forward and leading rebounder Tim Duncan said. “His defensive rebounding has been huge. He can do it. He has the arms and legs and length for it.” Leonard is currently the Spurs’ third-leading rebounder with 5.6 rebounds per game and has four Spurs big men trailing behind him in that category. It’s not just Duncan taking notice of Leonard’s efforts this season. Leonard’s “Rising Stars” teammate during All-Star weekend, Kenneth Faried, also spoke highly of the second-year forward. “Kawhi has big hands. Long arms and big hands," Faried said. "He plays great “D”. He can shoot it, actually and a heck of a player." After missing several games due to injury this season, Leonard seems to be back on track and has been a key to the Spurs offense with Tony Parker out. In his absence, Leonard has taken on a bigger role on both sides of the floor as the Spurs look for someone to attack defenses and penetrate into the lane. With the Spurs looking to him for offense, Leonard has scored in double figures in his last 13 games. While he continues to contribute offensively and defensively, one thing is evident, while Leonard has shown drastic improvement and progression through his second season, he has yet to come even close to his ceiling yet. But Leonard will likely look to reach right through that ceiling with the same aggression he uses to snag away a rebound. With his long arms, anything is possible.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Duncan closing in on passing Shaq on All-Time Rebounds

Tim Duncan has been on a roll this season leading the San Antonio Spurs in Tony Parker's absence and breaking records left and right these last two years. He's been climbing up lists in various categories and cementing his legacy as one of the best big men in the history of the NBA. Duncan is 14th in all time rebounds and only needs 16 to pass his former rival, Shaquille...

Tim Duncan rounding back into form... to say the least

When Tim Duncan came back from knee injury last month, he looked a little off, especially on offense.  In the five games in the month February after returning from injury, Duncan only shot 50 percent in one of six games and the jumper especially looked off.  In the month of March, Duncan is shooting 58 percent from the field and in the last three games he's been spectacular...

Are The Spurs Planning To Offer Ginobili An Extension?

The talk this season for the San Antonio Spurs' upcoming offseason has mainly been about Tiago Splitter. He's a free agent this season and his improving play has earned him the attention for it. The team also has other free agents such as Manu Ginobili and Stephen Jackson, but they've been seen as players who'll return with a discount. While it's believed they...

Popovich looking for continued toughness from De Colo

The San Antonio Spurs have been doing relatively well without Tony Parker for these past few weeks and it seems the team may be getting primed for the playoffs. Tonight against the Golden State Warriors, the Spurs had to fight for their win and that's something that should be expected in the playoffs. For coach Gregg Popovich, that's one thing he'll be looking...

Duncan leads Spurs past Warriors

Tim Duncan had 25 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and four blocks and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Golden State Warriors 104-93 Wednesday night. Tiago Splitter added 17 points, Manu Ginobili had 16 points and seven assists and fellow reserve Nando De Colo had 10 points for San Antonio (52-16), which is second to Miami (53-14) for the league's best record. Stephen Curry had...

Tony Parker Probable Friday Against Jazz

Tony Parker will be active and available for Friday’s home game vs the Jazz, returning earlier than expected.  After injuring his ankle March 1st against the Sacramento Kings, Parker was estimated to miss about four weeks when an MRI revealed a left ankle sprain, but a return tonight would make it exactly three weeks the All-Star point guard has been sidelined. The Spurs, who...

Coach Pop says Parker "possible" to play vs. Jazz Friday

As the San Antonio Spurs (51-16) are about to begin a grueling stretch of their season where they’ll face 11 playoff teams in their last 15 regular season games, they may not be without All-Star point guard Tony Parker for too much longer. In his pregame media session where the Spurs prepare to host the Golden State Warriors, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said “it’s possible”...

Parker returns, leads Spurs past Jazz in overtime

After four quarters of basketball with the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz all locked up at 90, Spurs guard Tony Parker, who returned from injury revealed when he felt his best, overtime. "I felt like I never left the team," said Parker (22 points, 5 assists) of his play in overtime as he led his team to a 104-97 victory on Friday at the AT&T Center. Parker...

Ginobili to host 'Ask Me Anything' on Reddit

Manu Ginobili is one of the most popular San Antonio Spurs of all time and is an international icon on the court. From his entertaining drives to his clutch shooting, Ginobili has been a sight to see on the court and his original style of play has drawn many fans to watch in awe. Have you ever wanted to ask Ginobili a question that's never been asked? Now every fan has...

5 things to watch: Spurs vs. Jazz

The San Antonio Spurs (52-16) and the Utah Jazz (34-34) will face off tonight in San Antonio in what could be a possible first round playoff matchup preview with the Spurs sitting atop the Western Conference and the Jazz trailing the Lakers for the final playoff spot. It might also be the return of guard Tony Parker to the Spurs' lineup after dealing with a left ankle injury...

Jazz-Spurs Preview

All-Star point guard Tony Parker is close to returning to the San Antonio Spurs' lineup. The Western Conference leaders should be fine until then if Tim Duncan can continue one of his best stretches of the season. San Antonio will try to sweep its four-game homestand on Friday night when the slumping Utah Jazz look to avoid their first eight-game road losing streak in eight...

Video: Duncan denies Warriors' Bogut

The San Antonio Spurs for the win at home over the Golden State Warriors last night 104-93 thanks in large part to Tim Duncan's incredible stat-line of  25 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and four blocks. And one of those four blocks for Duncan came at the expense of Warriors' Andrew Bogut. In the first quarter of action, Bogut went strong to the rim only to have...
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.