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Warriors’ Stephen Curry lauds Kawhi Leonard’s evolution as a player

Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are plenty aware of the monster they will face in these NBA Finals, going against an unleashed version of Kawhi Leonard, who has evolved over the years.

Curry and Leonard are coming off the best postseason series of their respective careers, yet the former two-time MVP lauded the latter’s evolution, going from a pillar of a proven system to an outright demon at both ends of the floor:

“He’s always at his own pace, and he never seems to get rushed or be in a hurry,” said Curry during Wednesday’s NBA Finals media availability, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s become a really good shooter, even off the dribble.”

Leonard has ended the chance at a three-peat before, when he captured his Finals MVP award after trumping the LeBron James-led Miami Heat in 2014.

Now, five years the wiser, Leonard looks to put that same formula to work against another team hoping to reach the rare three consecutive titles — now with the golden chance to strike with home-court advantage and a two-time Finals MVP short.

Leonard has gone from being a defensive stalwart to an all-around superstar, one who will command the Warriors’ attention at all times and minimize the margin of error they will have against a very capable Raptors team that has pulled out of very deep waters through the course of this postseason.

The two-time Defensive Player of the Year has posted averages of 31.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists through the course of this playoff run.