Tony Allen Explained How He’d Approach Guarding Kawhi Leonard Like Kobe Bryant

As we learned last playoffs, there is no way to stop Kawhi Leonard. The star forward has steadily grown his game into being one of the most versatile offensive weapons in the NBA, with the ability to score at all three levels and the skill on the ball to create his own shot in any area of the floor.

This year, it seems he’s added being an even better facilitator to his bag of tricks, showing off some slick passes early in his tenure with the Clippers. While he can’t be stopped, the task of every defense that faces the Clippers this year — and most importantly come playoff time — is to figure out how to slow him down some and limit his impact on the game. That’s easier said than done, but there are a few players with the defensive pedigree to speak on what approach may be best for trying to contain Kawhi.

Tony Allen, aka Mr. First Team All-Defense, is one of those former players that was best known for taking on the challenge of having to try and slow opposing stars. Allen took to Twitter on Wednesday to offer up some thoughts on how he’d approach Kawhi, noting it needs to be a similar team approach to how they used to guard Kobe Bryant, while adding in that he’d really do everything he could to keep him from his most comfortable areas on the floor in the post.

Teams with an on-ball defender capable of such an approach will surely try this, crowding Leonard and sending help when he drives to try and make him as uncomfortable as possible — Toronto actually did this quite well the other night. However, the problem that is going to arise is once Paul George is in the mix, if Leonard — who again has shown to be a more willing and capable passer this year — attacks that to draw doubles and the Clippers move the ball quickly, the defense will be under immense stress.

That’s the hope of the Clippers and what makes them, once at full strength, such a nightmare to prepare for. Kawhi, Paul George, and Lou Williams all being on the floor in the fourth quarter is going to create plenty of headaches for opposing defenses in figuring out who to help on and when to send help.

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