The San Antonio Spurs introduced the newest member of the team, Kawhi Leonard, and if the Spurs are to recommit to defense, Leonard might be what they need to accomplish that goal.
While in college, Leonard focused on defense first. While at San Diego State, he average 10.6 rebounds per game in his final year. And it is that type of tenacity on the boards which he compares himself to another rebounding-machine, former Spurs player Dennis Rodman:
“I try to go after every rebound like Dennis Rodman. Some nights he came out with 20 rebounds; one night I had 20 rebounds,” Leonard said. “It just shows how much passion we have on the defensive end and how much energy we bring to the team.”
With the addition of Leonard, this is a clear sign the Spurs want to go back to their defense-first mindset which won them multiple championships. However, it did cost them fan favorite George Hill.
The Spurs also introduced their other draft pic, guard Cory Joseph, and for Joseph, he says he is still focusing on improving his game:
“I need to work on my game, obviously,” Joseph said. “I need to tune up everything about my game.”
Joesph will have some big shoes to fill with the departure of Hill should be become the Spurs backup point guard to Tony Parker.
Although Spurs fans might still be reeling from the trade of Hill, the 6-foot-7 Leonard could be the spark the team needs on the defensive end. With his rebounding ability combined with DeJuan Blair’s knack for cleaning the glass, it sure is looking like the Spurs might have the size to contend once again.