Kawhi Leonard will not be the MVP this season, but it’s not for a lack of greatness.
If there was ever a single series of basketball to watch that proved that Leonard is among the best in the game, it came on Monday night when the Spurs hosted the Rockets in San Antonio. In a battle between two Western Conference powers (plus MVP candidate James Harden playing for Houston), Leonard stole the show in the final minute of a close game.
First he dribbled to his left and drilled a contested three-pointer to give the Spurs a 110-108 lead. On the very next play, Harden drove hard down the center of the key and looked certain to hit an easy lay-up to tie the game. Instead, Leonard came flying out of nowhere to pound the shot off the glass. After a brief scramble, the Spurs would come up with the ball.
— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) March 7, 2017
Those two plays by Leonard were basically the final nail in the coffin, as the Spurs would hang on to win 112-110 and maintain the No. 2 spot in the West. The 2016-17 MVP race may come down to Harden, Russell Westbrook, or LeBron James, but there’s no doubt that Leonard, who finished with 39 points, six boards, five assists, two blocks and a steal on night, is also among the game’s elite players.