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Kawhi Leonard's best plays of the Playoffs, Part One

In part nine of the "best of" series we'll look at Kawhi Leonard: All-world defender, 23-year-old superhero, NBA Finals MVP.

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Be sure to check out the first eight parts of the series.

Best of Cory Joseph.

Best of Aron Baynes.

Boris Diaw's best playoff passes.

Best of Matt Bonner.

Manu's best playoff assists.

Tony Parker's best scoring plays vs. Dallas and Portland.


It was a pleasure to watch the young Leonard perform so well over the season and especially in the post-season. Here's the first seven of his 14 best plays during the Spurs' Championship run.

Number Fourteen:

This was the first basket scored in the Western Conference Semifinals. Popovich went to Kawhi Leonard in the post early on in this one and Whi made the Blazers pay for putting Wesley Matthews on him. He starts to back Wes down and then unleashes a spin move followed by a one-handed banker for the score. Whi's tough in the post.


Number Thirteen:

Kawhi drives to the elbow with Shawn Marion guarding him. Whi picks up his dribble and is in trouble, but it's no problem for Leonard who uses a couple of fakes to free himself of Marion before he gets a leaner to go off the glass.


Number Twelve:

Manu sneaks in to take the ball away from Robin Lopez and then gets it to Splitter, who takes just a dribble before pushing it to Kawhi waiting near half-court. Kawhi pauses at the line before taking it right at Nicolas Batum, who will probably think twice before jacking up a three in garbage time to give him a triple double in the regular season. It seemed to displease the GOATPUFF. Timmy makes room for Whi to convert an easy score.


Number Eleven:

Kawhi and Tony run a two-on-one to perfection. Whi pushes the ball forward to Tony who gives it right back so that Kawhi can throw down an emphatic jam.


Number Ten:

Check out Kawhi Leonard block Robin Lopez, recover the ball, initiate the fastbreak, and then pull up at the top of the key for a super quick score.


Number Nine:

In this play we see Kawhi Leonard lose control of the ball, but he grabs it as it rolls on the ground with those big hands, kind of the way a non-superhero would grab a rolling softball. With the ball securely back in Leonard's possession, the young man attacks, curls around Tim, and gets a really tough layup to go while being contested by Robin Lopez. Kawhi had quite the game in the series clinching Game Five of the Western Semis, finishing with 22 points, seven boards, and five steals.


Number Eight:

Kawhi was so hot in this Finals game that even this ridiculous flip-shot after drawing a foul seemed like it would go in when it happened. Watch Leonard, he gives a little hop after the ball drops. That's quite a reaction for Stone Buddha In Training.


Part 2 will be out tomorrow.