The Memphis Grizzlies never stood a chance.
The San Antonio Spurs won in blowout fashion Sunday night beating the Grizzlies 112-92. The game got out of hand early, and the Spurs never turned back from the first quarter on.
Kawhi Leonard was very impressive for the Spurs throughout the game, as he showcased his improved offensive abilities throughout, from his pull up floaters in the lane to his accurate three-point shooting. Overall for the game, Leonard had 26 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the field, including 2-of-2 from three-point range.
Leonard has always been an explosive athlete able to utilize his height (6-foot-7) and length to become a mismatch to smaller defenders on offense and a lockdown defender on the other end of the court. This season, however, Leonard has taken his game to new heights and has improved every part of his offensive repertoire.
This season, Leonard is shooting a career best 57.2 percent on two-point shots, and 37.4 percent on threes, which ties his career best in that mark. Leonard has been able to get stronger and finish through more contact in the lane, putting up floaters and sky-soaring dunks. With those parts of his game, as well as his accuracy from deep, Leonard has become more of a complete player on offense, which only benefits his veteran teammates Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.
For Parker, his life as a distributor just becomes easier with a developing offensive player like Leonard. Parker has another weapon that he can kick it to either spotting up or cutting to the basket for a finish around or above the rim. Having Leonard as an offensive threat also allows Parker more space to get into the lane and do his damage either pulling up or slashing for a layup because of Leonard’s ability to spread out along the perimeter and knock down a shot.
For Duncan, Leonard’s growth also makes a similar dimension to his game a lot easier.
Duncan has always been a fundamental big man able to play at the high post and either find his teammates or pull up for the elbow bank shot, but having a reliable weapon like Leonard allows Duncan to either pass the ball to him for the open shot, or fake the pass and bait the defense into going towards Leonard so Duncan has a wide-open bank shot. The more potent offensive weapons on the court, the easier everyone’s life is on that end.
The Spurs are also loaded with veteran shooters such as Manu Ginobli, Marco Belinelli and Boris Diaw who know how to get to their most effective spots on the court and be ready for the pass and the easy score. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has always been a master of knowing where to put his players on the floor to succeed, as well as teaching his players just how important making the extra pass is. No other team is better at moving the ball in the half court for open looks, which only adds to their reputation as one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA.
The Spurs can put up points in a hurry, as they have been doing all season long.
The Grizzlies were just the latest team to fall victim to their offensive barrage.