Kawhi Leonard for MVP gains traction

Kawhi Leonard vs Portland

Kawhi Leonard had another monster game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. He scored 34 points, shot 4-7 from three, grabbed 9 rebounds and ditched 6 assists. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough as the Blazers topped the Spurs at home 110-106. The Spurs fell one game behind Golden State for the league’s best record.

Race for MVP

Kawhi Leonard’s stock continues to rise in the race for Most Valuable Player. Russell Westbrook (OKC) leads the league in triple-doubles with 33, James Harden (Rockets) is having another excellent season and so is Lebron James (Cavs), but Kawhi Leonard has the Spurs one game behind Golden State for league’s best record.

Winning matters and if the Spurs finish with the best record in the NBA, Kawhi should beat Westbrook, Harden and Lebron for the MVP trophy. Out of the three other players, Harden’s Rockets have the best record at 47-21.

Rockets @ Spurs on March 6, 2017

Looking back at this game, James Harden scored 39 points and had 12 assists for the Rockets. Kawhi Leonard scored 39 points for the Spurs, including 17 in the 4th quarter, but it was his impact on the defensive end of the floor that gave the Spurs the win.

“Kawhi wanted it badly, and he went and took it,” San Antonio coach Popovich said.

Harden gave the Rockets a 108-107 lead making one of two free throws with 39 seconds left in the game. Kawhi followed that with a three pointer and then blocked a James Harden layup from behind with 18 seconds remaining.

“The block is what makes him special,” Popovich said. “Obviously, the 3, you know, Harden makes 3s, Kawhi makes 3s, Steph Curry makes 3s. Everybody does that. But I don’t know who goes to the other end and does what he does. Not that many people, on a consistent basis, an entire game, game after game.”

Lebron James might be the other player in this race that can match Kawhi Leonard’s impact on the defensive end. There are fifteen games left in the season and the MVP race continues to heat up. Kawhi Leonard is one of the best two way players in the game and he deserves to win the Most Valuable Player award this season.

–Al Milian