Since the San Antonio Spurs acquired Kawhi Leonard via a trade with the Indiana Pacers involving George Hill in the 2011 NBA Draft, he became a fan favorite, praised for his defensive effort.
As the Spurs continue to age and Leonard continues to improve, the Spurs want to make him a bigger and bigger part of their team.
That’s why head coach Gregg Popovich wants to give Leonard more minutes heading into the postseason.
“We want to up his minutes,” Popovich said via Dan McCarney of The San Antonio Express News. “He’s going to play more minutes (in the playoffs) than Tim Duncan does probably, more minutes than Manu Ginobili probably. This is his stretch run and he needs to be in shape for it. He’s never really been able to do this because it was a lockout season or we had to limit his minutes last year. This is the first time he’s been able to lay it out there.”
Leonard is averaging 12.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals in 29.0 minutes per game.