Another year, another opportunity for Kawhi Leonard nerds — that’s us — to make excuses for why he seems to float through the regular season like an ethereal specter that’s never really as present as when the weather turns warm in the spring. The word potential hangs heavy when discussing Leonard’s often pedestrian regular season stats, but come playoff time — like he showed us last year in the Finals — he has an extra gear that allows him to reach the upper tier of the NBA.
Watch as Leonard snags the rebound against Dallas on Thursday night and goes coast-to-coast for the flush on the other end as the Mavs defenders stand helpless in his wake.
The Spurs won 116-107 in Dallas despite the tag-team duo of Dirk Nowitzki (10-for-17 shooting for 24 points) and Monta Ellis (23 points and six dimes).
But Leonard again wasn’t really the difference, which means he was his usual unassuming self, scoring seven points on 3-of-6 shooting with eight rebounds, a single block and two steals in 28 minutes. Tim Duncan had 23 and 11 and Tony Parker scored 23 despite a poor shooting night as the Spurs rebounded from their lackluster effort at home on Christmas Day.
Still, when does Kawhi bring it every night during the regular season? We’ve been waiting for him to make the jump for a couple years now, but he continues to plod along, like a younger, fresher Robert Horry — seemingly preparing for the real season that starts at the end of April. Come to think of it, maybe he’s just a perfect Spur, and we should ignore his game-by-game numbers in the regular season.
What do you think?
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