Gregg Popovich wants increased playoff role for Kawhi LeonardPosted by Inside Hoops
Here’s the San Antonio Express-News reporting on the Spurs and small forward Kawhi Leonard:
It was a comment Spurs fans have been clamoring to hear since, oh, about five games into Kawhi Leonard’s rookie season. Gregg Popovich, speaking last Sunday before Leonard would enjoy perhaps the best game of his young career, is finally ready to unleash his third-year small forward.
“We want to up his minutes,” Popovich said. “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.”
And did Leonard ever lay it out there against the Grizzlies, sinking 12 of 13 shots en route to a career-high-tying 26 points. He earned a game score — a kind of single-serve efficiency measure — of 24.7 at Basketball-Reference.com, the highest in any his 219 NBA contests including the postseason.