Kawhi Leonard is making his stake for the MVP early. In the first game of the post-Tim Duncan era, it was Leonard who took over the reigns for the San Antonio Spurs.
And boy, did he.
Leonard showed out in a big way, dropping 35 points on 10-21 shooting. He also added five rebounds and three assists in his 32 minutes of playing time. As usual, Leonard played stifling defense, as well, including five steals for the night.
Leonard’s big night was the main catalyst in a shocking and emphatic win for the Spurs. In a raucous Oracle Arena, the Spurs ruined Kevin Durant’s introductory game with a blow-out win over the Warriors. Leonard’s play contributed to the final 129-100 scoreline.
Kawhi Leonard has been known for his defense for a few years now. But he is still evolving offensively. More than ever, he will have to be the main creator and scorer on that end of the court for San Antonio.
Whether Kawhi can continue this outburst throughout the season is a difficult question to answer. But so far, he’s proving that he’s more than a one-way player benefiting from the Spurs’ heralded system. He’s an all-around superstar that can take the Spurs to the next level.