The LA Clippers are loaded. Kawhi Leonard leads the pack. Leonard is one of the best players in the league. He will be able to right the ship.
Kawhi Leonard is the force of the Clippers. He overpowers opponents by using his strength and high basketball IQ.
Leonard was the only consistent player for this season. When the Clips needed a bucket he was the one to go too. Kawhi had his best season in terms of stats.
He averaged a career-high 27.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game. His points per game are the highest for his career. While these averages are fantastic, he only played 57 games.
Leonard has been subject to load management. He hasn’t been able to play all the games.
If the Clippers are to go far they will need continuity. Leonard has to play. When he’s on the floor, Leonard is the perfect player. He is efficient, he plays offense and defense and wills his team to victory.
Championships have been won through the might of Kawhi Leonard. He has been able to turn the fortunes of franchises around.
Next season Leonard will have to step into a leadership role. This is his first consecutive season with a team ever since 2017-18 with the San Antonio Spurs.
When it was time to close Leonard couldn’t do it. The first round against the Dallas Mavericks wasn’t closed fast as it should have been, and that in turn led to the second round against the Denver Nuggets not finishing in the Clippers’ favor.
Game 5 was a problem for Kawhi last year with the Toronto Raptors. He was able to close out the Game 5 against the Orlando Magic.
That in turn helped him win the Game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers even though he did play well. That Game 5 win was the catalyst for the Game 7 win against the Sixers.
The Game 5 win against the Milwaukee Bucks was a classic Kawhi game. A cool 35 points and maximum efficiency. On the flip side of the coin, the Golden State Warriors were able to beat the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals before the Raptors closed it out in Game 6.
Leonard properly paced himself through the whole playoffs and won another title.
To be able to lead, Leonard has to dominate. That can be done at the free throw line. When you are able to control the game from the line that means you are outmuscling the other team.
It’s basketball. Putting points on the board and doing it by any means is the only way to prove you are dominant. Taking contact and making easy foul shots sucks the life out of a team slowly.
The team did not get the chance to play together for most of the season, and that came back to be a critical flaw when all was said and done.
Regular season success will mean postseason success. It’s time to elevate and upgrade.
Complete focus on a whole season is next on the agenda.
Kawhi Leonard is the end-all-be-all for the LA Clippers. He had the best season of his career. Leonard next season will be somebody to look out for.
Player Grade: A