Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 2/11/13
The matchup of the game when the San Antonio Spurs continue their Rodeo Road Trip to Chicago will be between Kawhi Leonard and Luol Deng. Kawhi Leonard is known as the Spurs' defensive stopper and defends the best player on the opposite team. Leonard will have his hands full with Luol Deng, who's leading the Chicago Bulls in scoring with 17ppg and also chipping in 6.8rpg. Leonard is not the focal point of the San Antonio offense, so he'll have fresher legs on defense when guarding Deng this game but Leonard is not guaranteed being fresh on the court tonight after playing last night against the Brooklyn Nets. Leonard's defense will likely determine the outcome of the game as the Bulls are ranked 26th overall on offense (93.7ppg) and will likely need Deng to score as many points as he can to come out with a win tonight. What Leonard must do on offense: He has to keep Deng in motion on offense. Leonard is a versatile small forward the Spurs have not had in a long time. He's able to rebound and push the ball by himself in transition whlie shooting three point shots and driving to the basket. With San Antonio having a deep bench, Kawhi's movement on offense may force Deng to spend more energy on defense than he wants to. What Leonard must do on defense: Deng is shooting 60% (145-242) in the restricted area and that will force Leonard to likely force him to put the ball on the floor but quickly recover to proect the rim. Leonard's strength and long arms should play a huge factor in the paint against Deng on post ups or drives and will disrupt any shot that will be taken. Deng is shooting less than 35% in every other part of the court except the corner three where he's shooting 46% (15-33). He looks to be comfortable in that spot, even if he hasn't shot many shots from there. With Derrick Rose still out for Chicago, look for Leonard to not give Deng any space and that will be especially true when Deng is looking to spot up shoot.
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