Kawhi Leonard led eight Spurs in double-figures last night during a commanding 123-97 win over the Timberwolves. The Spurs have lost Manu Ginobili for 7-10 days with a sprained ankle, but he’ll be back in plenty of time for the playoffs. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard showed off why he’s cresting to the top of his game at just the right time.
Leonard had 15 points (6/13) in 25 minutes, but still managed to wrench five steals with those alien hands. One of his six field goals came after Kevin Martin tried to tackle him before he could finish a breakaway:
It’ll take more than simply wrapping him up to slow the 2014 NBA Finals MVP down, but this is actually a symptom of something more devious in the NBA today: how do you prevent an and-1 opportunity without getting whistled for a flagrant foul?
Martin didn’t really make a basketball play on Kawhi here, but Leonard still finished the bucket — a testament to the wing’s upper-body strength. What if Martin had fouled him even harder and prevented the bucket…we’re guessing there’d be a review and Martin might have gotten a flagrant 1.
If you’re looking for evidence why certain players think today’s game lacks heart, look no further than this and-1 bucket.