April 22, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forwardKawhi Leonard
(2) reacts after drawing a foul against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half in game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
It only makes sense that the Defensive Player of the Year gets selected to the NBA’s All-Defense First Team, and the NBA has made the right choice by selecting Kawhi Leonard for this honor. Leonard went from missing 15 games to becoming one of the top defenders in the league. Last year he was named in the NBA’s All-Defense Second Team and it seems like Leonard is at the stage that he just keeps getting better on the floor.
So now let’s see what “The Claw” has done this year. He became the sixth forward to lead the NBA in steals per game averaging 2.31, which is his career best, he recorded multiple steals in 37 games and averaged 16.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Apr 5, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guardKlay Thompson
(11) drives to the basket as San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and San Antonio Spurs power forwardTim Duncan
(21) defend during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
That shows how far Leonard has come and he will continue to improve his game each season. Joining Leonard on the First Team squad is Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul and center DeAndre Jordan. All five players just happen to come from Western Conference playoff teams, so that is definitely a good defensive roster to look at.
Below is a video by Evin Gualberto of some of Kawhi Leonard’s defensive plays.