There is one player on the San Antonio Spurs that is even more cerebral and quiet than the often caricaturized Tim Duncan, and that is second year small forward, Kawhi Leonard. This past Monday night, Leonard was watching game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals just like the rest of us.
"I was just laying (down), seeing who we were going to play," Leonard said.
And now he knows. Leonard will be playing against the best basketball player in the world - LeBron James. But Leonard’s poker face has shown no sign of intimidation, fright, or irrational pride. Instead, he has only shown humility for his opponent and a sober confidence in his own ability. "It's just a great challenge for me to try to help my team win by playing good defense on him (LeBron)," Leonard said. "I just accept the challenge and am ready to play. He's great on offense and defense. He can pass, he can shoot the ball, gets offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds and he can guard the best player on the other team."
If the Spurs are going to have any chance of beating the Heat in a seven game series, the Spurs are going to need Kawhi’s long wingspan to bother LeBron on defense and to use his new jumper to hit his corner three’s on offense. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan will do what they normally do, but what the Spurs will need from Kawhi Leonard is to do what he abnormally does, limit the biggest force in the league - LeBron James.