On draft night before the NBA lockout began, San Antonio Spurs’ General Manager R.C. Buford said the team would go back to focusing on its defensive first mentality from the past as opposed to its offense-first mentality they ran this prior season.
One way that the Spurs have taken action in the defensive approach was by trading favored guard George Hill to Indiana for the rights to rookie Kawhi Leonard. Leonard is first and foremost known for his defensive skill set and rebounding during his collegiate days at San Diego State University.
As you see this quick clip (via NBA Playbook), there’s three things you can see that Leonard possesses while out on the court — quick hands, quick footwork, and length in disrupting passing and dribbling lanes.
Leonard can stay with his opponent whether they drive left or right while having a chance to make a steal with his quick hands. He also can make a steal when someone drives by or passes the ball if he’s in the area because of the length of his arms and his defensive instincts.