How did Kawhi Leonard do it?
He has the personality and competitiveness. That showed through with his interviews during the draft process. He’s a quiet person, and Coach Popovich would argue he’s quieter than Tim Duncan. While he is quiet, his play on the court speaks volumes. At San Diego State, he ran the floor in a full sprint. He provided tenacity on defense. He outrebounded players bigger than him. Drive can make or break a player. The Spurs did a great job facilitating his drive with the right environment, and now his true talents show on the biggest stage. His drive pushed him to work on his ball-handling and perimeter shooting skills.
That ‘tweener from the 2011 draft can now play small forward at the NBA level.
He has the physical tools. While he is undersized at the power forward spot at just 6’6″ w/o shoes, he has among the largest hands in the league with a 7’3″ wingspan to boot. His standing reach at 8’10″ is competitive against some of the NBA’s best at power forward. It would be considered an elite measurement at small forward.