Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 2/1/13
When he was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, Kawhi Leonard was instantly compared to Bruce Bowen or at least that's how Spurs fans were hoping he'd turn out. Bowen's defense has been something the team has sorely missed since he retired. Now in his second year, Leonard has actually exceeded the expectations. He's a really good defender who's taking the task of guarding the opposing team's best player, but he's also becoming a much more versatile offensive player than Bowen ever was in his career. He can put the ball on the floor and drive or cut to the basket off the ball for a strong finish, but he's also developed something the Spurs have desperately needed that small forwards after Bowen and before Leonard haven't been able to produce -- a consistent three point shot. Leonard stated after San Antonio's win over the Charlotte Bobcats that's a shot he's been working on. "I was just working. I just finally got  little opportunity to show it tonight," said Leonard. "Just hard work is working for me." He's been showing opposing teams he can hit that shot with his 40% three point average. He's not only hitting that shot, but he's also bringing back the consistent corner three that Bowen had given the Spurs throughout his career in a silver and black uniform. Leonard is shooting 47% (31-66) from the corner compared to 23% (6-26) from the wing. The Spurs have enough shooters who can make a wing three point shot in Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, and Matt Bonner along with others but a corner shot is much more valuable to the Spurs' scheme and it's showed with the team being ranked third in overall points forced (104.3ppg) and first in assist (25.3apg). With the flow of the game being essential for a running type of offense that the Spurs have adopted, a corner three makes the offense much easier especially for a pick and roll team. Tony Parker usually gets a pick around the three point line and tends to want to drive baseline. With him driving that direction, it only opens up his teammate who set the pick a straight away lane for a finish, but also gives the ball handler more options to pass the ball or finish. With Parker's speed and quickness being a top threat in a pick and roll, most of the time the person guarding the corner three tends to want to "cheat" and try to disrupt the drive. When that happens, the team suddenly has a wide open corner three pointer with not enough time for the defense to recover to contest the shot. It's been labeled as "the hardest shot" in basketball since there's no backboard for help on the shot, but it seems Leonard's commitment to being a consistent shooter has made the backboard irrelevant for him.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Report: LeSean McCoy assaulted off duty Philly police officers

John Elway was right, the Broncos didn’t need a Plan B

Canadiens and Sharks starting to gauge trade market

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Danny Trevathan: Broncos defense better than ’85 Bears

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

Von Miller trolls Cam Newton, Panthers

Cam Newton proves again he is a great winner and terrible loser

Steph Curry trolls himself with Jordan face meme

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

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

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker