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Kawhi Leonard Named to All-NBA Defensive Second Team

The accolades are starting to pour in for the third-year forward

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard was named to the 2013-2014 All-NBA Defensive Second Team for the first time in his career. Leonard has been praised by Coach Pop as being a future superstar, and is now compiling the awards to show where his game is going.

The NBA today announced that San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team for the 2013-14 season. Leonard becomes the seventh Spurs player in franchise history to be named to an NBA All-Defensive Team.

In his third season, Leonard averaged career-highs with 6.2 rebounds, 1.73 steals (10th in the league) and 0.76 blocks in 66 total games. He led the team in steals in 28 games and in rebounds and blocks on 12 occasions each.

His 1.73 steals per game average marked the most by a Spurs player since Manu Ginobili in 2003-04 (1.77). On two occasions this season Leonard tallied five steals in a contest (11/20 vs. Boston and 3/6 vs. Miami).

Joining Leonard (16 First Team votes) on the Second Team are forward LeBron James of the Miami Heat (57 First Team votes), guard Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets (44 First Team votes), guard Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls (29 First Team votes) and center Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers (15 First Team votes).

First Team honorees include center Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls (223 points, 105 First Team votes), forward Paul George of the Indiana Pacers (161 points, 65 First Team votes), guard Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers (156 points, 64 First Team votes), forward Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder (152 points, 54 First Team votes) and guard/forward Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors (148 points, 57 First Team Votes).

The voting panel consisted of 123 writers and broadcasters from the U.S. and Canada.

Leonard continues to improve on both ends of the floor, averaging 12.8 points per game, and 1.73 steals per game. He was pivotal to Spurs Western Conference Finals wins in Games 5 and 6, helping to force Thunder guard Russell Westbrook to turn the ball over seven times in Game 6.

This is Leonard's first selection to an All-NBA Defensive team, joining George Johnson (1), Alvin Robertson (4), David Robinson (8), Dennis Rodman (7), Tim Duncan (14), and Bruce Bowen as Spurs who have made an All-NBA Defensive team. Tim Duncan was the last Spur to make an appearance, joining the second team in the 2012-2013 season.

Kawhi's defensive skills will be on display Thursday night as the Spurs host the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.