The San Antonio Spurs (2-1) lost their first game of the preseason to the Denver Nuggets 91-97 at the AT&T Center. The Spurs were led by Tim Duncan with an impressive 21 points, two blocks, two steals, and eight rebounds but we focus on Kawhi Leonard and his play in this game.
Leonard finished with nine points, four blocks, two steals, three assists, eight rebounds, 1-5 from the three-point line, and 3-11 from the field in 28:21 minutes
What stood out during the game was his adaptability on defense. Yes, he is known for his tenacity on defense but what impressed was how he could adapt to guarding almost any player on the floor. He guarded 6-10 Danilo Gallinari to 6-6 Andre Iguodala and used his length, foot speed, an tenacious defense to slow them down. In addition, Leonard did state one area on defense he is working on is weak-side defense which he showed off during the game. Add the fact he finished with four blocks, he might be looking at a nod for the All-Defensive team this upcoming season.
On offense, he tended to rush shots as evidenced by his final shooting percentages, however, as head coach Gregg Popovich said prior to the game, shooting in the preseason really doesn't matter. He is working hard on his outside shot (as he was doing so in pregame warmups) and should improve his outside game as the season progresses. Still, despie the fact he had an off-shooting night, seeing him not give up on finding his shooting stroke was good to see.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Are you expecting Kawhi to have a breakout season?