Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 3/11/13
The matchup for tonight's game will be between Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kevin Durant has been unstoppable shooting 48% in two games against the Spurs this season. He's averaging 21ppg this season against San Antonio and it doesn't look like he'll slow down for tonight's game. San Antonio will be without Tony Parker this game and for the remainder of the month with an injury, so it'll be important for Kawhi Leonard to try to limit Durant as much as he can this game. Leonard missed the second game against the Thunder this season and the end result was a 107-93 loss to Oklahoma City. What Leonard must do on offense: Leonard must stay active on the offensive end and in motion to make Durant work on both sides of the floor. Durant is averaging 40mpg in two games against the San Antonio Spurs. With the Spurs' depth, Leonard can make Durant pay with the constant motion on both ends on the floor as his backup, Stephen Jackson, is known to have a somewhat similar game to Leonard's in that he can shoot and create his own shot if given the opportunity. Leonard is only shooting 25% from the field against the Thunder in his lone game, so he has to get off to an early start and get Durant winded as soon as he can. What Leonard must do on defense: The Spurs' defensive scheme relies on good perimeter defense to be successful, but it also features help defense by its starting big men in Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter. Leonard must keep Durant in front of him and make him shoot contested shots that aren't And 1 opportunities. The Spurs will look to offer Kawhi help on drives and to contest, but Kawhi will have a good chance for good defense with his quick feet and long arms. As long as Leonard can stay in front of Durant and make him uncomfortable, the ball will likely go to Russell Westbrook for the majority of the game. Westbrook is a streaky shooter and the Spurs would prefer him to try to dominate the game over Durant. If Kawhi Leonard can stay in front of Kevin Durant, the Spurs should have a great chance to win the game.
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