Kawhi Leonard Showing Flashes of Value to Spurs, but Gregg Popovich Needs More

November 11th, 2014 by Josh Martin Leave a reply »

LOS ANGELES — Great performances are nothing new for Kawhi Leonard. He wouldn't have a Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Trophy on his mantel otherwise. If not for Ray Allen's heroics in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, Leonard might even have two of them.

But those spectacular showings were more the product of Leonard's opportunism than any deliberate machinations on the part of the San Antonio Spurs. Gregg Popovich admitted that he didn't ring up Leonard even once during the Spurs' historic run to the 2014 title.

Leonard didn't seem ready for a shift from spectacular role player to bona fide focal point to start the 2014-15 season. Through his first four games, Leonard averaged a mere 9.5 points and 3.8 free-throw attempts while hitting 30.8 percent of his field-goal attempts, including just 11.1 percent of his threes.

Granted, Leonard's struggles weren't beyond explanation. He missed most of the preseason and the opening game of this campaign with a case of conjunctivitis. The illness forced him into quarantine, away from his teammates, and left his game rusty and the vision in his right eye blurred.

Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - NBA
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