The incoming of LaMarcus Aldridge was not going to deter Kawhi Leonard from becoming the new face of the San Antonio Spurs. With averages of 21.8 PPG and 8.0 rebounds, while shooting at a 50 percent clip, Leonard so far is the only bright spot for the old but veteran Spurs team. So much so that Gregg Popovich believes he can be dominant on both ends of the floor as he’s shown this season so far.
His clip of stopping Carmelo Anthony has been the talk of the NBA. Last Saturday night against the Charlotte Hornets he scored 23 points on 63% shooting. In a win against the New York Knicks he snagged 14 rebounds and also in that same game, had four blocks. But, of course, he can’t do it alone. Luckily for the Spurs, skill has outlasted their athleticism and eventually it will all come together. LaMarcus Aldridge is still finding his groove (15.0 PPG, 44% shooting) and the big 3 of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are averaging a combined 33.1 points a game. So again, it will only be a matter of time before the team starts clicking with it’s well-rounded style of basketball.
But one thing is clear, Leonard is a rising superstar. He’s the equivalent of a modern day Scottie Pippen; with enormous potential to be even better. The most frightening thing of his transition to NBA stardom is he’s only 24 years old; nowhere near his prime. If that fact alone doesn’t make you want to tune into to watch his 94 feet dominance, I am not sure what will.