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Spurs Playbook: Kawhi rejects LeBron

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Kawhi Leonard is showing off on both ends against the Cavs

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Before the Spurs took a 24 point halftime lead against the Cavs, Kawhi Leonard showed off his defensive chops while guarding LeBron James in transition:

Kawhi keeps his arms spread out to cover maximum ground as he retreats. LeBron drives middle with his left hand, but Manu Ginobili is right there to help. James is forced to spin baseline and Leonard is all over the play, blocking the layup attempt. Manu nearly gets a hand on the ball as well.

Here’s another look:

Notice that as James is in the air he extends his left arm and appears to make contact with Leonard’s face, effectively pushing him off, and Kawhi still gets a piece.