- Courtesy Caleb Saenz/48 Minutes of Hell
For the second time this season, the NBA named San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard as Western Conference Player of the Week. He last earned the nod in December.
Why Leonard? Because he's a badass, that's why. From the NBA press release:
Leonard averaged 22.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.00 steals while shooting .564 (22-39) from the field and .538 (7-13) from three-point range as the Spurs went 3-0 for the week, extending their win streak to five games. He tallied 22 points (7-10 FG, 2-3 3FG, 6-6 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in a 118-81 victory over Utah on Dec. 14, limiting Gordon Hayward to 4 points, 14.7 points below his average (18.7 ppg). Leonard followed that up with 27 points (9-15 FG, 4-7 3FG, 5-6 FT), 4 assists, 4 steals and 3 rebounds in 38 minutes in a 114-95 win vs. Washington on Dec. 16. The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year closed out the week with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists in 36 minutes while helping the Spurs outlast the L.A. Clippers 115-107 on Dec. 18.
So far this year, Leonard's "averaging a career-best 21.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.00 steals in 33.3 minutes while shooting .509 (202-397) from the field, .490 (50-102) from long range and .875 (91-104) from the foul line," according to the NBA.
He's the number-one three-point shooter in the league, 10th in steals and the league's 18th in scoring.
In other news, San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich will miss the two next games because of a family medical emergency, ESPN reports.