Kawhi Leonard has best record ever after 300 NBA starts
With their win against the New Orleans on Saturday night, the San Antonio Spurs improved their record to 3-0 to start the season. Not only were they able to keep their perfect record intact, it also set a milestone for their superstar, Kawhi Leonard.
The game marked the two-time Defensive Player of the Year’s 235th win, which is the most in NBA history through 300 career starts.
After the game, Leonard downplayed the credit given to him, even if he led the third quarter charge that gave the Spurs the upper hand for good. He is aware that his team is playing solid so far but knows there’s still a lot to improve on, per ESPN’s Michael C. Wright.
“It’s the beginning of the season. We still can get better. We want to keep going, moving forward. It’s a team game. I’m going to need these guys in the playoffs to play their best basketball and be confident when they get there. [I’m] just picking and choosing where I shoot the ball, run the offense and get guys involved. I see how the defense is playing me and just go from there.”
“Just coming in, they were being very aggressive on those pick and rolls with me. Their defense was collapsing very quickly. [I was] just getting the ball very slowly, seeing how they were playing me. I just got a feel for what they were doing in the third quarter. I made some shots and kept going from there.”
Head coach Gregg Popovich raved about the maturity the 25-year-old has shown and also talked about how his starting small forward has improved the past couple of years.
“Just look at his progression over the last couple of the years. He enjoys the responsibility. He welcomes it. He’s done well in that environment. So I haven’t given him that talk this season because I don’t think he needs it. He already understands the position he’s in, what’’s expected and his position on the team.”
With four impressive performances so far, his name has already been thrown in the MVP conversation even at this early stage. But being the team player that he is, Leonard mentioned that he does not pay attention to individual awards and the fans chanting “M-V-P” during games. He made it clear that he’s only focused on helping his team win.
“The only time I hear that is when I come in to the game, you know, I’ll never try to win an award. I’m out there just playing for my team. If I get noticed for my individual performance, that’s what happens. Other than that, I’m just trying to win the game.”
After the game against New Orleans, Leonard and the Spurs took home their fourth win of the season against the Miami Heat on Sunday. They now look to continue their hot start on Tuesday against the Utah Jazz.