Kawhi Leonard may not say much on or off the court, but his game speaks very loud. It’s funny that the same statement can be said for the whole San Antonio Spurs team. The Spurs are a quiet, but confident bunch, and Leonard has adopted that mentality from being a part of the Spurs culture.
Leonard had a slow start to the NBA Finals in Games 1 and 2, but in Game 3 he erupted for 29 points. Tonight it can be said that Leonard did the same thing with another volcanic eruption in Game 4. Leonard, who has the tough task of guarding LeBron James, finished the game with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks.
There were many whispers that Game 3 was a fluke, but if you’ve seen Leonard play all season you know that he is capable of those moments.
Leonard is only 22 years of age, but his game is mature beyond his years. Leonard doesn’t play out of his comfort zone, and he sticks to what he knows best. If that means playing defense, making timely three-pointers or slam dunking over defenders, Leonard does whatever head coach Greg Popovich asks of him.
The Spurs and Leonard know that LeBron James will get his points, but it’s vital to make him work for them. With Dwyane Wade doing his best impersonation of Tony from the movie Blue Chips it made life easier on the Spurs defense.
With the Heat having their backs against the wall in Game 4, many thought that they would deliver under these conditions. The Heat were 13-0 coming off of playoff losses, but thanks to the play of Leonard and the Spurs that streak is over.
The NBA Finals is a great stage to display your talents, and for the consecutive game, Leonard is showing that he is more than a role player. The Spurs are notoriously popular for their “big 3”, but they may have to save a seat for a fourth member.
Game 4 is a testament of what kind of player Leonard can be. The weather forecast may have predicted a heat wave on South Beach, but I am sure people didn’t expect it to be No. 2 for the Spurs. If you don’t believe in Leonard just yet, be sure to ask the Miami Heat.