Kawhi Leonard showed why he is the centerpiece of the post-Tim Duncan era during the San Antonio Spurs 129-100 dismantling of the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday’s season-opener.
Leonard shed the shackles he’d been kept on during his first his first five seasons under coach Gregg Popovich and the Warriors were the first to see the lion unleashed out of his cage.
The San Diego State alum was aggressive and assertive taking shots all around the court. Leonard made 15-of-15 free-throws against Golden State on his way to a career-high 35 points.
Can we pause here for a second and just see how good a player has to be to come out second in the MVP voting without ever having scored 35 points in a game? Unreal.
The Sacramento Kings got the same treatment after Leonard dropped 30 points on them last night. Kings center DeMarcus Cousins didn’t shy away from praising “The Claw” in his post-game interview.
“That dude’s good, man,” Cousins told reporters candidly, before he caught himself dropping an expletive. “He’s good. He’s really good.”
Cousins felt his defense played him as good as they could, as the two-time Defensive Player of the Year was making it rain from everywhere, making 11-of-21 from the field.
“I mean, he was hitting shots over two guys. I heard he was working with Kobe, and there were some flashes of Kobe tonight.”
Kawhi Leonard has been finally let loose and is now showing the full range of his arsenal, taking isolation plays and carving defenses up with his length and shot dexterity.